NORFOLK-The holiday season is here and for most of us that means Holiday dinners, parties, New Year’s celebrations. That means food, food, and more food.
Keeping up with healthy habits has benefits for your whole body – like helping to avoid holiday weight gain, helping to fend off holiday stress and fatigue, and helping to keep your immune system strong.
Here with some tips on teaching your family to stay healthy during this busy time of year.
Tip 1: Plan Ahead.
The holiday season can be stressful but to help combat stress and to avoid Holiday weight gain, plan ahead as best as you can.
-The holiday season does not justify throwing out portion control and to overstuff ourselves. If you are attending a family gathering or party, offer to bring a healthy; low calorie dish. Maybe a fruit or veggie tray, turkey pinwheel wraps, salad, turkey meatballs. At least you know there will be one healthy dish available. -Feed your children – and yourself- a light snack or meal before heading off to a holiday party. This way you won’t be as tempted to overeat.
-Choose moderate portions of food. An easy way to remember this is to follow MyPlate. Make sure ½ of your plate is fruit and vegetables and ¼ is a lean protein like turkey, chicken, fish and ¼ is whole grain like brown rice or whole wheat bread.
-Set a good example for children by eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains with meals or as snacks.
Tip 2: Some holiday foods are okay – in moderation
-The challenge is listen to body cues. Ask yourself, ‘are you really hungry or am I just bored?’ Wait 20 minutes for your brain to get the ‘I’m feeling satisfied’ message from your stomach.
-Make sure you have your children’s healthy favorites available during the holidays.
-Consider making family favorite recipes by substituting certain ingredients such as plain yogurt for sour cream, skim milk for mashed potatoes instead of whole milk, sway the white rolls for whole wheat, use lower sodium broths, and serve steamed green beans as opposed to green bean casserole. There are plenty of ways to still enjoy your favorites just with a little tweaking.
Tip 3: Get physical
Children have many hours of unstructured time during the holidays. Don't let them get too bored. Also remember the main reasons holidays are important is so families can be together and practice their special traditions.
-Start a new tradition that includes physical activity like a family or neighborhood turkey bowl, walk or trip to the rec center or skating rink.
-Limit screen time (TV, ipad, xbox), but when you do watch TV, get up and move instead of sitting during commercials
-Do fall and winter chores with your kids – raking leaves, shoveling snow
-Invite other children over to the house to play
CHKD has information for aHealthy You on its Website or you can call 757-668-7035.