Healthy for the holidays



The holidays mean family, friends, joy…and food. Here are some helpful tips to stay healthy over the holidays.

As you celebrate this holiday season, think of little changes you can make to create healthier meals and active days.

Bake healthier
Use recipes with unsweetened applesauce or mashed ripe bananas as a plant-based, healthier butter alternative. Try cutting the amount of sugar listed in recipes in half. Use spices to add flavor such as cinnamon, allspice, or nutmeg instead of salt. Make cookies, pies and muffins, and use the above substitutes to add a little health to your holiday season.


Make exercise a part of the fun
Make being active part of your holiday tradition. After a large holiday meal, have fun walking and talking with family and friends. A bonus holiday tip is to give gifts that encourage others to practice healthy habits, like gym memberships, running shoes and reusable water bottles.


Make sure your protein is lean
When going down the buffet at your holiday get together, be mindful of what you are consuming. Turkey, chicken, fish and beans are lean protein choices. Be aware of the sauces and gravies; they can be high in saturated fat and sodium.


Enjoy leftovers
Create delicious new meals with your holiday leftovers. Add leftover protein to salads. Use extra turkey to make a turkey and vegetable soup. Use leftover potatoes as a side with your eggs for breakfast.


Enjoy all food groups at your celebration
Share healthier options during your holiday meal. Prepare whole-grain crackers with hummus as an appetizer. Add unsalted nuts and black beans to a green-leaf salad. Include fresh fruit at the dessert table. Use low-fat milk instead of heavy cream in your casseroles.

Give to others
Spend time preparing meals for those who need a little help. Give food to a local food bank or volunteer to serve meals at a shelter during the holiday season. Schools and local churches have food and present drives going on all month long.