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Healthy Eating Tips for the Holidays

Posted By Colleen Dougherty, NC Recreation & Park Association, Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy Monday,

Thanksgiving is this week, and we all know that means good food and even better company! Gatherings are becoming more popular, whether if that’s celebrating with family or work. The endless amount of treats and desserts can challenge your commitment to healthy eating, but it can be managed! In this week’s wellness blog, I will provide some tricks to reduce calorie consumption without sacrificing all the treats. Feel free to share these ideas as you plan holiday gatherings and celebrations by using social media, such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!

How can you help make a holiday party healthier? WebMD: Food and Recipes has 10 Healthy Holiday Party Tips to get you started! One easy step is using smaller plates and cups, which will result in smaller portions among the guest. Smaller plates will lend a hand in guest’s subconsciously reducing the amount of food intake during the meal. While smaller cups will downsize the portions or adult beverages and surgery drinks. Be sure to offer plenty of water for people to have a healthy and calorie-free drink option. Club soda is also a good and low in sugar solution to mix with alcoholic beverages. Additionally, creating a food-free space will minimize the unconscious snacking throughout the party. According to Eating Well starting the meal with soup or salad will help the guest fill up on something light and have less room for starchy and heavier foods. There are some easy and cheap options to encourage healthy habits during the party that can be easily implemented among work and family gatherings. Need a health Thanksgiving dessert recipe? Eating Well website has Healthy Thanksgiving Cookies recipes that can be enjoyed by your guest or coworkers!

If you don’t have a “healthy holiday recipe:” try making simple substitutions to your favorite recipes, which can help to reduce calories, fat and sugar. There are smart ingredient substitutions when baking your favorite holiday meals for parties and gatherings. First, instead of using butter, substitute equal parts cinnamon-flavored, no sugar added applesauce, a healthier option then using high-in-fat butter. Another easy idea is to use low-fat or skim milk instead of whole or heavy cream in recipes. Additionally, try using half white and half whole-wheat flour instead of only white flour. Lastly, replace chocolate chips or candies with dried fruit, such as cranberries or cherries to achieve the sweet taste in your baked goods. More healthy tricks and replacements can be found on the American Heart Association website.

The Wellness Initiative wants to add more ideas among the Healthy Policy Ideas, so if you have any healthy eating party ideas or tips during the holiday season then please email us or submit them on the wellness site here:(,



Tags:  Health and Wellness  Live Healthy  NCRPA 

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