By Miriam Myers , GreatSchools Staff
During the holidays there is inevitably more sugar and calories tempting our palates. Try these tips to avoid the bellyaches and extra pounds, and keep your family healthy this holiday season.
Cut down on the sugar and fat by altering your recipes and what you eat.
If you are hosting a meal try to avoid a buffet, this can lead to overeating. Instead serve healthy portion sizes. Try the trick of using smaller plates, this helps keep the portion size down. Suggest that your family wait 10 to 15 minutes before getting seconds. They will soon realize that they are fuller than they thought. If you are at a hosted buffet suggest that your family look at all the food first and then take small portions of what they want. Encourage them not to hover around the buffet which can lead to nibbling food and eating more than intended.
"Don't eat now. You'll spoil your dinner." Does this phrase sound familiar? The truth is eating a healthy snack before a meal can help you eat less. So plan on having a nutritious snack before a holiday party and your family will be less likely to arrive starving and fill up on unhealthy snacks and sweets.
Let's be realistic. You don't have to avoid all the treats. And good luck, if you tell your children they can't have any sweets! Give yourself and your children an allowance window. Allow for small portions of your favorite holiday indulgences. Balance and moderation is the key.
Encourage your family to maintain daily exercise. Even 10 minutes here and there can do the trick. When going to the mall or grandma's house, park farther away to allow for a short walk. Enjoy the outdoors by bundling up and going for a hike. Your family could go skating, play Frisbee or go sledding. If the weather doesn't permit take fitness indoors.
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