This post was sponsored by the National 4-H Council as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
The holidays usually mean over-indulging in delicious food. I know that I’m plenty guilty of that, but this year, more than ever; I want to make it a year of healthier decisions. And not only that, but long-lasting healthy decisions that carry over from year to year. That includes the food that we eat and that also means the food that everyone eats.
Because really, it’s not just about me or Kyle. It’s also about the kids.
Here are just a few ways for how to have a healthy holiday meal this year (and all year round).
The time from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day has to be the hardest few weeks to stick to a healthy eating lifestyle or any diet for that matter. We are constantly tempted by sweats, treats and just way to much food in general.
6 Tips for How to Have a Healthy Holiday Season
1) Make sure you eat before you go to any holiday gathering. You know you will be tempted by all sorts of unhealthy but yummy foods. Make sure you don’t go overboard by eating something that is good for you before you go. Try to make sure you are not hungry when you arrive, or you will be much more tempted to overeat as well.
2) Drink some water before you go and alternate higher calorie drinks like alcoholic beverages, eggnog or hot chocolate with water while you are at the holiday party. Drinks can have a lot of hidden calories in them, so watch out. Diet sodas are another good option.
3) Fill you plate with some “good “ foods first. Pick some raw vegetables, but go easy on the dip. Turkey breast, and lean ham or pork roast are other good choices. Don’t forget a nice plate of salad with a low fat dressing and some fresh fruit for dessert.
4) Don’t cut your favorite holiday treats completely out. If you don’t allow yourself the occasional small indulgence, you will be much more likely to break down and binge on all those cookies and treats. The key is to enjoy small portions or bites of your favorite foods. If you have a soft side for chocolate chip cookies then go ahead and indulge, but limit yourself to one a day or every few days.
Of course the same applies if you prefer cheesecake or gingerbread men.
Eat several small meals a day. This old tip holds especially true during the holiday season. We tend to skip meals and indulge in one large holiday dinner with the entire family. Don’t starve yourself all day. Get some snacks in and most importantly start your day with a good, healthy breakfast.
You will be able to enjoy your holiday more by stabilizing your blood sugar. You don’t want to spend the day being grumpy from not eating for hours, or be the first ready for a nap after overeating.
5) Use the busy shopping season and burn some extra calories. If you are heading to the mall, park a little further away, or take your time and do a round of window shopping all through the mall before you buy.
6) Take some time to relax. The holidays can be a very stressful season if we let them. Many of us (including myself) tend to overeat or medicate ourselves with food when we are stressed. Work in some extra time just for you. Sit in front of the fire with a good book or your favorite magazine, go get your nails done, take a bath or go for a walk. Do whatever works for you to calm you down and help you distress.
Above all, enjoy the holidays and remember they are not only about food, but more importantly about family spending quality time together.
One way to do this, and ensure your healthy habits, is to prepare meals together. Kids, more often than not, are more motivated to try something new when they make it with you. This could be something as simple as a side dish or the main course or dessert.
You know your kids best, after all.
Nearly 16 million children live in households that do not have access to food throughout the year. These homes are considered food insecure. However, the 4-H Food Smart Families Program targets families who are income eligible (for example, receiving SNAP and/or W.I.C benefits) and teaches them how to plan, prepare, and shop for healthy meals on a budget.
Since 2011, United Healthcare has partnered with 4-H to deliver healthy living programs to more than 340,000 youth and their families in 14 states.
The 4-H Food Smart Families program consists of two key components:
- Empowering youth and their families by equipping them with the knowledge to make healthy living part of their everyday lives through nutrition education, cooking skills and food budgeting skills to bring more affordable, nutritious foods into their households.
- Connecting families with nutrition assistance resources in their community.
The goal of the 4-H Food Smart Families program is to continue to pilot and test the 4-H Food Smart Families program in select states, then to replicate and eventually expand it across the entire 4-H Extension network that exists in every county across the country.
Treat yourself to some new holiday candles, listen to your favorite Christmas tunes, or go for a drive through a lit up neighborhood this year. Have fun during this special time of the year and enjoy that occasional cookie. Just don’t forget to balance it out with healthier meal ideas. Especially those that you create and share with your family.