Holiday times are here!

This means disruption to the family’s regular meal and exercise patterns.

The good news is you can plan ahead to avoid the extra holiday weight gain.

Plan Snacks
Now is a perfect time to brush up on a healthy snacks and appetizers to fill hunger gaps, provide important nutrients, and keep you on track during busy holiday schedules.

It is easy for extra calories to creep in when we get too hungry and choose the wrong type or quantity of food.

Healthful snack choices keep us on track. All you need is a plan – plan to have healthful food with you.

By bringing snacks along with you, you can control when and what you eat.

Use MyPyramid to help you pick tasty foods from a variety of food groups:

  • Half cup trail mix made up of whole grain cereal and raisins or dried fruit.
  • Grapes - rinse and put in baggies
  • Light string cheese with veggie sticks
  • Apples, pears or bananas
  • Graham snacks and a piece of fruit
  • Mini-bagel and apple
  • Light yogurt
  • Air popped popcorn

Snacks to have on hand at home:

During the busy holidays it’s best to stock up on snacks you want to eat at your house.

  1. Cut up, chill, and store those raw veggies.
  2. Keep potatoes and sweet potatoes on hand to bake quickly in the microwave.
  3. A large salad made up the night before.
  4. Chili or hearty vegetable soup heats up quick when made or frozen ahead of time.

Be Ready for Company

  1. Reduced-fat crackers with hummus or low-fat cheese dip
  2. Fruit kebobs (use colored toothpicks) with yogurt dip
  3. Colorful veggies with a lowfat dip
  4. Baked chips and bean dip
  5. Low-fat muffins
  6. Air popped or low-fat microwave popcorn topped with your favorite herb or seasoning
  7. Colorful and lowfat pasta salad

Plan for Sweet Desserts

  1. Slices of angel food cake drizzled with strawberry sauce
  2. Festive fruit platter
  3. Small colorful cookies on a small plate
  4. Low-fat eggnog
  5. Flavored coffee and tea
  6. Whipped cream with fresh fruit

Healthy Holiday Advice

  1. Eat a light, low-fat snack such as soup, fruit or cereal before parties. This will help you curb hunger and make better choices.
  2. Limit sugar sweetened beverages. Consider sugar free or “diet” alternatives or even club soda with lime or lemon.
  3. Bring a low-fat holiday dish to the party.
  4. Keep minimal baked goods on hand this year. Only bake enough to give away or use for one festivity.
  5. Try to eat a large low-fat salad before most meals. Make sure vegetables take up half the space on most of your plates. This will curb your appetite for foods higher in fat and calories.
  6. Lower the calories in your holiday recipes by using less fat, sugar and cheese.
  7. Control portion sizes. Choose smaller portions of foods that are high in fat and sugar and get plenty of low calorie vegetables and salads. Remember to leave off the extra gravy and butter.
  8. Remember there are only three real feast days (Thanksgiving, Christmas (or Chanukah which is 8 days) and New Year’s) it’s too little exercise and too many calories on the other days that causes weight gain during this time of year.
  9. Keep up with your exercise during holidays and try to be more active. Getting enough sleep helps you get up to go to the gym!
  10. Finally, celebrate with the holidays are really about - spending time with family and friends. Find creative activities or ways to get your family and friends to be active instead of eating.

Did You Know?
A study by the researchers at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases found that Americans gain an average of 0.4 to1.8 pounds each year during their adult lives. Most of this weight is gained between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

Here are some more observations from this study:

  • If you are already overweight or obese you might be more at risk for gaining more weight, up to 5 pounds, during this time. Try to stay on track with exercise and healthful eating.
  • If you stay physically active during the holidays you may be less likely to gain weight.
  • The weight you gain during the holidays is not likely to come off at a later time during the year


Steps for Kids


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