Healthy Eating During the Holidays

Posted on November 16, 2017

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Brought to you by Barbara’s in collaboration with Andrea Donsky

When I think about the month of December, it immediately brings up three emotions: joy, happiness and appreciation. My joy is sparked by thoughts of the upcoming holiday season, my happiness comes from spending time with family and friends, and my appreciation comes from eating a lot of healthy and delicious food.

Although the holidays are synonymous with overindulgence and excess, planning healthy, guilt-free meals and treats throughout the month, that satisfy everyone’s palates, is doable. Offering healthier options to some traditional dishes will allow everyone to indulge without knowing they are actually eating something healthy! The following tips will allow your clients to feel a little naughty AND nice this month:

Make healthy food convenient. Accessible snacking is the key to staying on a healthy track at this time of the year. Keep healthful snacks and finger foods within easy reach. Place a few fresh vegetable and dip platters around the house so when people want to nibble, they can crunch on a carrot or piece of celery instead of chips. For a dip, opt for hummus or bruschetta instead of full fat sour cream-based options, and jazz it up by filling Medjool dates with peanut butter or cashews. Fill bowls with healthy classics like Snackimals cookies, which are a hit with kids and grown-ups alike.

Make healthy eating attractive. An attractive presentation can make all the difference when serving food. If you want your younger guests to dive into the healthy stuff, make it appealing. For example, create faces on whole-grain bread squares with organic cream cheese and veggies or make whole grain mini veggie pizzas (kids LOVE pizza) for lunch.

Avoid empty calories. Empty calories are just that – empty of essential nutrients. Making your clients aware of what they are eating and drinking this month will help them to be mindful of poor food choices. Providing them with a list of healthier options (a healthy cheat sheet) will empower them to make better decisions. For example, when choosing a snack, opt for one that is made from whole grains, contains fiber and protein, and is lower in sugar. Your body will thank you for it.

Involve your kids. Most kids love to help prepare food, especially when it comes to baking. The holidays are a great time to introduce them to healthful choices they can help you make, such as Snackimals Baked Apples and Barbara’s Better Granola Oatmeal Bars. Research shows that when children are exposed to healthy foods at an early age, they develop a liking for them[1].

Consider food gift certificates. Not sure what to get someone on your gift list and want to keep it healthy? How about a gift certificate to a natural product store or healthy local restaurant?

Give gifts of health. It’s easy to buy a gift, but making one makes it extra special. You can tailor it to the receiver’s needs and desires (e.g., gluten-free, vegan, low-fat, non-GMO), or use it as an opportunity to introduce cleaner foods to someone who is open to trying them. Bringing a homemade gift (e.g., a basket filled with several goodies, including fresh organic fruit, organic ciders and wines) will show the receiver you put a lot of effort and planning into their present.

All of these tips also can prepare you and your family and friends for those New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier! Happy holidays!

Posted in Nutritionist Newsletters