From casseroles to cookies—it’s that time of year where holiday food is everywhere! But health experts have a few tips to keep you in control. “Typically, you’re going to have more rich foods during the holiday time, definitely more sugars. Be aware of it. Plan for it,” said Erika Graziani, an outpatient nutrition program coordinator with Lee Health.
If you’re attending a holiday dinner, bring a healthy side dish. “Try to do more with the fruit and vegetable dishes. Think about some of the things that become more in season that time of year. You can do more with cranberries, which are an excellent form of nutrients, or doing things with green beans, walnuts,” said Graziani.
And if you’re preparing a holiday meal, swap out a few of the unhealthy ingredients for healthier ones. Instead of sugar, add fruit or pure maple syrup. Instead of milk, try soy or unsweetened almond milk. “There is kind of some simple things that you can substitute and still make a dish that still tastes good. But keep the sodium more in check and keep the fat more in check,” she said.
And when it’s time to eat, try smaller portions and take your time before going back for seconds. “Maybe doing a craft together or taking a walk together instead of just making everything around the table and around food,” said Graziani.
If you know you’re going to be indulging in holiday food, make a plan to maintain your physical activity. “That can help to offset some of those added calories that you take in from those richer foods,” she said.
A few ways to keep your holidays healthy and keep you in control.
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