It’s holiday season, which often means large, elaborate meals and decadent desserts. But it doesn’t also have to mean a vacation from good health. Follow these eight tips to keep your holiday season healthy!

  1. Festive treats can still be healthy! Make treats for holiday parties or gatherings from vegetables, fruits or low-fat cheese instead of making sweets.
  2. Don’t forget your veggies! Fill up on vegetables or salad before eating starches and desserts. Vegetables are high in fiber and can help make you feel full longer.
  3. Build a balanced plate. Use the “plate method” during the holidays too! Fill ½ your plate with vegetables, ¼ plate with a lean protein and the last ¼ with a grain or starch.
  4. It’s okay to splurge. But choose your splurges wisely. Pick items you don’t get to eat all the time. SPLURGE on foods only available during the holiday.
  5. Spend time with family. Being with family doesn’t always mean you have to EAT. Spend time telling stories, talking or playing games! Do so away from the food table to prevent mindless nibbling.
  6. Eat until you’re satisfied, not STUFFED. With all the YUMMY food available during the holiday, it is easy to want to go back for more! Listen to your satiety cues. Eat until you’re full and not until you’re stuffed or uncomfortable.
  7. Enjoy holiday activities. Choose some holiday activities to keep you active while enjoy time with your family. Try going for a walk, play a game, go ice skating or check out local holiday community activities or races.
  8. Don’t skip meals! It is less like that you’ll be hungry and overeat at holiday gatherings if you’re already eaten a small meal.


Hannah Nicolais Hannah Nicolais, MS, RDN, CNSC, is a pediatric dietitian at the Pediatric Specialists of Virginia.
Pediatric Specialists of Virginia is a medical group created by Children's National Hospital and Inova Health System to be focused exclusively on caring for children. Our specialists are recognized as “Top Docs” by Washingtonian and Northern Virginia Magazine and have appeared in U.S. News & World Report as leading experts in their fields.

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