Eating Healthy for the Holidays

The holidays are fast approaching, and we all know what that means: parties, celebrations, gatherings, and more, where food is always in abundance. Take if from me; I love sweets and indulging in all the foods that a holiday celebration has to offer. However, I have to remember that I can’t eat ALL of the cookies that are presented in front of me, even if I want to! Here are some quick tips and tricks to eating healthier when you’re at that holiday gathering:

  • If there are fruit and vegetable trays, fill your plate with them! If it’s sweets you’re craving, fruit can be a great substitute. It’s an added bonus that you’ll be getting a variety of vitamins and minerals when you eat different fruits and vegetables.
  • Skip the sugar-sweetened beverages like soda and sweet tea. Choose water instead. If it’s flavor you’re after, add some fruit or mint leaves to your water for a boost in taste.
  • Enjoy the company that you are with, just not right next to the food table! If you’re having conversations next to the food, you’re more likely to continue to grab and eat, even if you’re no longer hungry. Try moving the conversation to the other side of the room, where the food isn’t in easy grabbing range.
  • Don’t “save up” for the feast by not eating beforehand. If you don’t eat all day because you know that there’s going to be delicious food at the gathering, you’re more likely to overeat.
  • It’s okay to eat your favorite sweets, we don’t want them to be the enemy! Just do so in moderation. Try those items you know that you don’t normally have year-round, such as pumpkin pie or gingerbread cookies.
  • Keep moving! Instead of plopping down on the couch right after eating, take a walk with family or friends, start a dance party in the living the room, or challenge the kids to a fun game. It’s easy to want to relax right after eating, but being active can help burn off calories while also reducing stress (as we all know the holidays can be stressful)!

Overall, remember what this season is about! It’s about connecting with friends, family, and those around us. When enjoying the time you’re spending together, it’s easy to forget about the food and stress that this time of year can bring.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season and a healthy, happy new year!


Hillary Ayers, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent for UF/IFAS Extension Orange County
Posted: December 13, 2022

Category: Health & Nutrition, Relationships & Family, UF/IFAS Extension, WORK & LIFE
Tags: Family And Consumer Sciences, Health And Wellness, Healthy Eating, Healthy Holidays, Nutrition, Ocextension, UF/IFAS Extension, UF/IFAS Extension Orange County

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