Sometimes the stress of the holidays can feel overwhelming, but there are plenty of ways you and your family can remain mindful of healthy habits during this holiday season.
1. Get the kids in the kitchen.
This year, give your loved ones the gift of better connecting with the food they eat. Derek Hersch, the author of a public health study for the CDC, says that getting kids involved with cooking helps them develop a positive relationship with food and can make them more likely to make healthier food choices.
Cooking with your kids allows you to start a dialogue about eating habits, and is also a great way to get them to try new foods. Kids are more likely to eat something they helped prepare. Check out these suggestions for what your children can safely help with in the kitchen at various age levels, and get some inspiration for kid-friendly recipe ideas.
Take this time to tell stories, laugh, and bond with your loved ones over the joy of preparing holiday meals. You and your family will remember these magical moments – and these healthy habits – for years to come.
Nothing should stop you from enjoying your favorite holiday treats. Practicing mindful eating throughout the season allows you to eat what you want and still feel your best. Mindful eating is not a diet, but rather a practice that focuses on fostering a healthy relationship with food and eating. Mindful eaters pay close attention to when they are hungry and full, what kinds of foods they like or dislike and why, and how meals make them feel.
It’s all about knowing when you’re hungry, and enjoying everything in moderation. Don’t hesitate when you see that plate full of cookies, unless of course you have a health or dietary restriction. If you want one, eat it – just try not to devour the entire plate. Denying yourself the foods you enjoy can lead to overindulgence and guilt later on. Take a small portion of everything you love, and only eat when you’re actually hungry. If the cookies are brought out once you’re already full, don’t force yourself to have one. The food will still be there when you get hungry again!
Creating a beautiful display of the food you spent all day cooking up is common around the holidays. Why not show off your hard work? Just don’t leave it out for too long. According to a study conducted by Charles Spence of Oxford University, vision has a lot to do with eating habits. Constantly looking at food can cause you to want more, even if you are already full. After everyone is full, make it a group effort to put the food in the refrigerator or pantry.
Healthy habits can be carried over into any season to keep you and your loved ones feeling their best. Keep these tips in mind over the next few months to have your happiest, healthiest holiday season yet!