The holidays are a wonderful time that brings together family and friends to celebrate. However, it can also be a challenging time for our healthy lifestyle goals. Food is often at the centre of our celebrations and gatherings make treats and snacks readily available. So how can we as parents, continue with our healthy living goals over the holidays? One way is to plan for and choose healthy snacks as much as possible, while also allowing room for enjoying smaller portions of our favourite holiday foods.
Here are some healthy snack options and suggestions to keep you on track from dietitians:
- Keep it simple: sliced fruit and vegetables are excellent snacks packed with nutrients and fibre to help keep you full and satisfied. Tip: plain yogurt (mix in a small amount of ranch dressing for extra flavour), hummus, and salsas are tasty and satisfying vegetable dip options. For a healthy fruit dip try mixing plain yogurt with mashed berries and a bit of honey to sweeten.
- Drink to your health: when possible choose non-alcoholic drinks such as sparkling water with lime or try a wine spritzer (half white wine and half sparkling water or club soda). If you enjoy diet drinks, consider having them in place of heavier drinks such as egg nog.
- Pass on the chips: in place of high fat salty snacks like chips choose sliced pita bread (toast in the oven first to get the crispy texture), naan bread, or whole grain crackers.
- Portion size counts: it's easy to overindulge when snacking! Take a look at your portion sizes and when possible plate your snacks; fill half of the plate with vegetable and fruit options.
- Move that body: it's important to keep up on our exercise during the holidays. Sneak in a simple 15-30 minute walk whenever you can. Or try out some winter sports like snowshoeing, skating and skiing. Check out your local community centre and/or gym for indoor fun activity options.