Oh What Fun It Is to...Eat Healthy!
We all know the holidays are the busiest time of the year, often filled with plenty of holiday treats. Many times we don't make the healthiest decisions during this time. Before the busy season, think about ways to keep a healthy balance for your family.
- Plan out your children’s meals for the week. Include lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean proteins. Vegetables should fill up half your plate. This reduces overall calories since non-starchy vegetables (with limited added fats) are generally low in calories but high in fiber, vitamins and minerals. The fiber in whole grains and vegetables, along with lean proteins, increase satiety.
- Encourage your children to eat a light meal or snack before parties, especially if only appetizers and desserts will be served. Never go to a party hungry; this will more than likely lead to overeating.
- Ask the host what to expect and bring a healthy option to the party that your children will eat.
- Take a look at all the options before going through the line. Choose small amounts of your favorites and skip the others.
- Rethink your drink! Lots of holiday beverages like hot chocolate, apple cider and egg nog all contains lots of calories. If you are going to indulge, keep the portions small. If you are unsure of what beverages will be available, bring along your child’s favorite beverage.
- Assist your children with portion control at buffets and potlucks. Keep in mind the plate method by filling half the plate with vegetables and fruit, one-fourth with protein and one-fourth with starch.
- Balance extra holiday meals and treats with physical activity. Find activities that the whole family can participate in. This is a great way to spend extra time together during the busy holiday season.
- Model healthy eating behaviors! You are your child’s most important teacher.
Most importantly, enjoy the holiday season with your family.