Happy and Healthy Holidays

By Jennifer Klein, RD, CDN

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas everywhere you go! As the holidays are quickly approaching, it’s important to remember to keep yourself healthy through all the hustle and bustle. Here are four suggestions for maintaining healthy weight and being safe this holiday season:

Even though it’s a special occasion, you can still make healthy choices:

  • Bring a healthy dish to pass
  • Pile your plate with mostly vegetables and lean protein (avoid skin and trim fat off)
  • Limit sweets or choose fruit instead
  • Limit alcohol consumption; try having a glass of water between alcoholic beverages
  • Enjoy smaller portions of dishes loaded with butter or cheese including but not limited to casseroles, sauces, gravies, potatoes, etc.
  • Savor each bite, chew slowly, and stop eating when you feel full
  • Use leftovers to make a salad or soup
  • Don’t skip a meal!

Make some simple substitutions to your traditional holiday recipes:

  • Opt for Canola oil instead of butter OR use applesauce or a mashed banana instead of oil
  • Bake with half of the amount of sugar a recipe calls for
  • Use low-fat milk instead of heavy cream
  • Use spices and herbs instead of salt

Handle and prepare food safely:

  • Wash hands frequently
  • Cook food to proper temperatures
  • Refrigerate food immediately
  • Do not leave perishables out for more than two hours
  • Consume leftovers within 3-4 days

Stay active this winter with seasonal activities (remember to dress warm and wear many layers):

  • Walk around the neighborhood or a local park to gaze at the festive holiday decorations
  • Dance to holiday music with your family and friends
  • Build a snowman on your front lawn
  • Visit local places such as Canalside, Niagara Falls, or the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima
  • Curling
  • Ice skating
  • Sledding
  • Skiing

Most importantly, spend time with family, friends, neighbors, and other loved ones as you enjoy your holidays. We wish you a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!