. Healthy Holidays - Manitoba Parent Zone

Healthy Holidays

As wonderful as they may be for everything else, when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight, holidays can be somewhat challenging. Most people relish holiday recipes and treats, but many regret those extra sweets and treats come the New Year.

Embracing healthy lifestyle habits throughout the year can help you set a good example for your children. By eating well and exercising regularly, you are also helping your children adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Since holiday eating comes in many forms – family gatherings, office parties, and festivities with friends - it can be hard to come up with one strategy that will work for everyone in all situations. However, here are a few basic healthy holiday eating tips for you and your family:

  • Keep an eye on portion sizes. It’s often not what you eat, but how much that can lead to over eating at any time of the year. Use Canada’s food guide as your guide to serving sizes. Canada’s food guide (Health Canada).
  • Enjoy fresh veggies as much as possible, zucchini, cucumber sticks, broccoli flowerets, carrot curls, red and green peppers, served with low fat dips or spreads such as hummus, yogurt with herbs, fat free sour cream, or fresh salsa make healthy food choices.
  • Consider serving crispy pita triangles, flatbread, Naan, or Melba toast, as alternatives to salty, high fat crackers.
  • Fresh fruit trays can make a wonderful and refreshing end to any meal.
  • Let the holiday spirit move you. Make a promise to yourself to get regular exercise during the holidays—strive for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity a day. This won’t just burn calories; it may help you de-stress from the holiday bustle.
  • Alcoholic drinks are loaded with calories and can dehydrate you, so it’s best to drink them in moderation. Always plan to have non-alcoholic options on hand. Water or sparkling water with lemon, cranberry juice spritzers, non-alcoholic beer or cocktails, fruit punch, and lower-fat eggnog, are great options to consider.
  • Track your eating and activity level over the holiday season to help you stay on track. The Dieticians of Canada EATracker at www.eatracker.ca is a convenient and easy to use tool.

Helpful Links:

Healthy holiday eating 

How can I survive holiday eating (Dietitians of Canada): Holiday eating survival tips.