1. Eat slowly, talk more -- it takes your body about 15-20 minutes to sense that it is full so enjoy eachother’s company, take the time to talk and laugh, and then listen to your body!
2. Make traditional holiday dishes with low-fat or lower sugar ingredients -- most of the time you will not notice a big difference in taste but the difference in calories will be worth it!
3. Don’t forget the fruits and veggies -- adding them to your favorite holiday dishes or placing them as an option on the dessert or snack table will keep your kids eating them! Remember that it is always better to eat your fruit than to drink it!
4. Stay well hydrated -- water is the best liquid for your body... don’t toss it aside with all of the holiday drinks!
5. Avoid feeling “stuffed” -- share portions, ask for a take-home baggy and eat leftovers the next day -- you will find that you will not only feel better avoiding stomach aches but you get the chance to enjoy your delicious meal two days in a row!
6. Attend a local farmers market -- it introduces you to fresh foods and you get to enjoy exercise while you walk around the market. They are usually also very festive and get you in a great holiday mood while supporting your local community!
7. Take a stroll after large meals -- not only does it help with digestion and will help you enjoy those relaxing holiday evenings, but you will also burn off some of those yummy, yet sticky calories! Get the kids moving at the local park or gym and wear pedometers -- it’s a great reminder to get moving. Remember to make it fun while they sweat!
8. Have a friendly competition with your kids and visiting family and friends! Create your own family race. With loved ones gathered, create a small outdoor or indoor relay race “Pass the Egg” (walk with an uncooked egg on a spoon without dropping it), "Turkey Dance” (instead of the chicken dance), "Snowball Toss” (grab some ice and crush it up in a bag and toss it around until it's all melted). It will get you all moving and having fun together!
9. Take the time to talk with your kids, family and friends -- get to know who they are and what makes them tick. Gather ‘round and play board games or tell stories ... Tell them how much they mean to you ... knowing how much you mean to them too may be a pleasant surprise! Create meaningful memories.
10. Get enough zzzzzz’s -- Staying up late with visitors usually goes hand-in-hand.. Aim for kids getting 9-10 hours of sleep every night (7-8 for adults) -- you will find that they will be better rested, better behaved and you will have a better holiday!
Be an example to your kids of maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle... yes, even during the holidays ... especially during the holidays!
Composed in conjunction with FH Healthy 100 Kids Team