Midwest Professional Woman's Group Blog

Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group

Healthy Holiday Eating

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on December 24, 2010

The holidays are here, and even though they come with enough cookies, candy and comfort foods to last a lifetime, don’t run screaming from the buffet table just yet. Food may be a centerpiece of holiday festivities, but the holiday season doesn’t mean you have to pack on the party pounds. Try these tips for making your holidays healthful:

Take the edge off your hunger before a party.

Feeling hungry can sabotage even the strongest willpower, so eat a small, low-fat snack such as fruit or low-fat cheese before you head out the door. This will help you avoid rushing to the buffet table when you arrive.

Make just one trip to the party buffet.

Choose only the foods you really want to eat and keep portions small. Often just a taste satisfies a food craving or curiosity. Also, move your socializing away from the buffet table to eliminate unconscious nibbling.

Meet and greet.

Conversation is calorie-free. Get a beverage and settle into the festivities by catching up with old friends and making new ones.

How Can I Help My Overweight Child?

If you have an overweight child, it is very important that you allow him or her to know that you will be supportive. It is important to talk to your children about their weight, allowing them to share their concerns with you. It is not recommended that parents set children apart because of their weight. Instead, parents should focus on gradually changing their family’s physical activity and eating habits. By involving the entire family, everyone is taught healthful habits and the overweight child does not feel singled out.

Choose lower-calorie party foods.

IGo easy on fried appetizers and cheese cubes. Instead, have some raw vegetables with a small amount of dip-just enough to coat the end of the vegetable- or try boiled shrimp or scallops with cocktail sauce or lemon. To help ensure there will be healthful treats, bring a dish to the party filled with raw vegetables with a yogurt or cottage cheese dip, or bring a platter of fresh fruit.

If you are at a sit-down dinner party, cut your first helping in half.

That way, you can enjoy seconds (and your host or hostess will feel good about that) and the total amount of food you eat will be about the same as a normal-size portion.

Enjoy physical activity after a holiday feast. Find activities the whole family can do such as walking, biking, roller-blading or hockey, and develop family fun-time habits that can continue after the holiday season.

Be realistic. Don’t try to lose weight during the holidays-this may be a self-defeating goal. Instead, strive to maintain your weight by balancing party eating with other meals. Eat small, lower-calorie meals during the day so you can enjoy celebration foods later without overdoing your total calorie intake.

Have fun. Enjoy traditional holiday meals and party foods with family and friends while maintaining a healthy lifestyle, too. If you need help developing a plan that works for you, contact a registered dietitian.

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