This holiday season, whether you are planning your usual celebrations or making new smaller traditions it is important to balance holiday favorites and healthful options that are delicious. Sticking to wellness goals can be challenging during the holidays. Here are some tips to help you stay on track.
Pack Healthful Snacks For Travel
If you’re traveling this holiday season it can be challenging to eat healthy. Rest stops, gas stations, and airports aren’t known for healthful snack options. Pack your own for holiday trips. Try apples or bananas paired with nut butter, trail mix, or pre-cut vegetables with hummus cups. Be sure to fill up your water battle, too.
Mindfulness is the practice of being present and in the moment and can help you fully enjoy each eating experience. Turn off technology, set the table and eat slowly, using all of your senses with each bite. These habits can help you tune into your hunger cues and allow you to savor your meals without overdoing it. Plus, mindfulness can help you fully engage in the time you’re spending with loved ones.
Work In A Workout
When you’re in the thick of holiday prep, your exercise routine may fall by the wayside. Since you can’t add more hours to the day, fit in exercise when you can by parking farther away at the grocery store or taking the stairs at the mall.
Indulge Your Sweet Tooth Mindfully
There are many holiday treats to choose from. Plan to pick out your favorites and truly savor them. That will make it easier to skip the rest. If you stick to your normal healthy eating patterns most of the time, you will come out of the holiday season satisfied but not over stuffed.
©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2020 All Rights Reserved
Start small, with goals that work for you and your family. These are the habits you’ll keep in the long run.
1. Add More Color To Your Plate
More color on your plate means more variety, more nutrients, and more flavor. The next time you shop, try putting the rainbow in your cart: orange citrus, yellow pineapple, and dark leafy greens.
2. Eat Seasonally
Keep a produce calendar handy so you know what to look for. In season produce is fresher and typically less expensive. January is good for root vegetables, kale, and citrus.
3. Drink More Water
Stay hydrated by infusing your water with citrus slices, herbs, berries, or cucumber. Making water more interesting will encourage you to drink more.
4. Try A Whole Grain Swap For Pasta And Bread
Once in a while replace regular pasta and bread with a whole grain alternative. These complex carbs will help you feel full. Look for whole wheat, whole grain, and multigrain alternatives.
5. Pack Your Snacks
Opt for high fiber and protein snacks like hummus and pretzels or apples and peanut butter. Unlike sugar and empty carbs, fiber ad protein will keep you full.
6. Eat Breakfast More Often
Stock up on on-the-go options. Egg muffins in the freezer, instant oatmeal in the pantry, and a bowl of fruit on the counter. The morning rush won’t be an excuse for skipping this important meal.
7. Make A Shopping List
Check your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry before making a list. Organize your list based on the layout of your store. You’ll save time at the store and won’t accidently buy what you already have.
8. Try A Plant-Based Swap For Meat
Try a meatless version of a weeknight staple like burgers, pizza, or pasta. You’ll get more nutrients into your meals by swapping meat for plant-based options.
9. Stock Your Freezer
Keep staples like frozen meatballs or chicken tenders and steam-in-bag vegetables for last minute meals. A fully stocked freezer is better than takeout. You’ll save money and get dinner on the table even on busy weeknights.
10. Reduce Your Food Waste
Use overripe fruit in smoothies and muffins. Turn leftover vegetables into stir fries and soups. Turning leftover produce into nutrient-dense meals is a win-win for your wallet and your health.
11. Make A Meal Plan
Write meals on the calendar at the start of the week. Everyone knows the menu and you won’t be scrambling for dinner ideas at 5pm.
12. Bring Your Lunch 3 Days Per Week
Instead of swearing off midday takeout, start with 3 days a week. When you pack school lunches, pack office lunches too. You’ll save time waiting in line, save money, and eat better.
13. Try A New Recipe
Shake up your dinner routine with a recipe or ingredient you haven’t use before. You’ll avoid a recipe rut and learn new kitchen skills.
14. Eat Out One Less Time Each Week
Try a speedy dinner or slow cooker meal that’s ready when you get home. Home cooked meals allow you to control the ingredients and choose more healthful options.
15. Drink Less Soda
Swap for flavored seltzer, iced tea, or sparkling fruit juice. Instead of cutting out soda try drinking 1 less can a day. Quitting cold turkey makes habits hard to break. Start with a smaller goal and eventually it will make a big difference.
16. Eat Together One More Night Each Week
Make dinner device-free, with everyone eating together. Keep it fun with a top-your-own taco, baked potato, or burger night. Enjoying a meal together as a family has been shown to encourage healthy eating habits and better communication.
17. Cook With Your Children Once A Week
Children who help choose, shop for, and prepare a recipe will be more interested in eating it.
18. Get Ahead On Sunday
Prep components instead of entire meals. Roast vegetables, cook grains, and bake extra chicken, then mix and match for quick lunches and dinners during the week. Planning ahead helps you save time, eat better, and reduce the stress of busy weeks.
19. Embrace Healthy Fats
Look for sources of unsaturated fats, like olive oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados. Good-for-you fats help regulate cholesterol, absorb vitamins, and prevent heart disease.
20. Give Plants More Plate Real Estate
Fill about half of your dinner plate with plants, then divide the rest between your starch and protein. Rebalancing your plate is an easy way to eat healthfully.
“Work With What You Got!”
©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2019 All Rights Reserved
Healthy snacks give your family the energy and nutrients they need throughout the day. As you plan snacks, think of them as “mini meals” that include two of the four food groups.
Try these simple nutritious snack ideas:
1. Whole grain crackers with a cheese stick
2. Fresh cut fruit with a yogurt dip
3. Nut-free trail mix. Mix dried cranberries, raisins, dried apricots, and apple rings with sunflower and pumpkin seeds, along with your family’s favorite cold cereal.
4. A small tortilla wrap spread with Greek yogurt, some jam and a banana.
5. A smoothie made with vanilla yogurt, blueberries, apples and some orange juice.
6. Vegetable sticks (like cucumbers and carrots) dipped in hummus.
Make snacks interesting by using a variety of shapes, colors, and textures.
• Offer different types of cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, Jack, Swiss) in different forms (cubes, strings, slices, and balls)
• Switch up the vegetables and fruit. Make sure you have a colorful variety in the fridge to choose from.
• Kids love to dip. Use cottage cheese, hummus, yogurt, or guacamole as healthy dips.
From planning to packing, get everyone in the family involved when making snacks. Take children grocery shopping and let them choose some of their favorite foods like breads, vegetables, fruit, and yogurts. Set aside time in the evening to pack lunches and snacks. You’ll be happy you did during the next day’s busy morning rush!
Food Allergies: Schools have different policies when it comes to food allergies. Many schools have a nut-free policy throughout the whole school, and some have policies just for some classrooms. Find out about the food allergy policy at your child’s school. Once you know about the foods that need to be avoided, keep them in mind when reading the ingredient list on food labels and when packing lunches.
Back to school snacks can be nutritious and delicious. With a little planning and creativity, your kids will love snack time at school.
“Work With What You Got!”
©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2019 All Rights Reserved