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Better Choices for a Happy Holiday!

Hosting for the holidays or just looking to make everyday meals and activities more festive this holiday season?  Check out these 25 fast and simple tips for celebrating the season with friends and family while keeping health in mind:

  1. Enjoy seasonal treats in moderation.
  2. Switch out daily, year-round choices for something more special.
  3. Use holiday cookie cutters to shape fruits, pancakes, toast, and cheese/deli meat.
  4. Try to serve at least one fruit or vegetable dish a day in holiday colors—think a green salad with red tomato or bell pepper, or blueberries in plain or vanilla yogurt.
  5. Festive-ize your oatmeal by stirring in some peanut butter and a few dark chocolate chips.
  6. Decorate the table to make everyday meals special—breakout the holiday napkins, add a sprig of evergreen in a vase, or any other simple tablescape idea that gives a nod to winter.
  7. Sprinkle cinnamon in your morning coffee for a no calorie, delicious aroma.
  8. Wear a festive apron when preparing meals.
  9. Freeze peppermints into ice cubes to serve in water for adults and older kids.
  10. Serve hot chocolate made with milk and a peppermint stir stick for a nutritious, delicious treat.
  11. Hard boil some eggs and turn them into penguins with some black olives for head and wings and a carrot chunk for nose.
  12. Bake cranberry or pumpkin muffins for quick, seasonal breakfast.
  13. Master a new homemade salad dressing with a seasonal fruit or vegetable
  14. Roast veggies and serve them warm over a mixed greens salad for a wintry update to the salad bowl.
  15. Roast extra veggies on the weekend and layer them on sandwiches during the week for a tasty way to get your veggies in during the holidays.
  16. Make homemade cookies in smaller sizes for built in portion control.
  17. When preparing for a holiday party, choose smaller bowls and glasses to keep portions in check.
  18. Turn on music when preparing food so it’s fun to cook for yourself and/or others.
  19. Get plenty of sleep throughout the season.
  20. Drink enough water. Staying hydrated is always important, regardless of time of year.
  21. Make sure exercise is part of the weekly routine.
  22. Follow what your doctor has told you even during the holidays—your health is important year round!
  23. Don’t be shy about asking questions at restaurants, substituting sides for a better choice, or saying no thank you to something you are too full to eat.
  24. Keep a cooler with ice in the car to make it easy and food safe to transport leftovers.
  25. Portion out any treats into small servings and freeze them so that you can enjoy them wisely in moderation throughout the season.

And above all, enjoy yourself this holiday season—just keep moderation in mind! Happy Holidays from everyone at IGA!

Kim Kirchherr, MS, RD, LDN, CDE, FAND