December 2015

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Health Capsule

Delicious and Healthy Holiday Eating

Planning holiday meals? Try these tips to make meals healthier without sacrificing taste or fun:

Swap ingredients for healthier options. Cutting calories and saturated fat won’t make your meal less flavorful. In fact, it’s likely no one will taste the difference. In baked goods, instead of butter, stick margarine, or shortening, use softer tub options. Cut sugar in side dishes by leaving off sweet toppings like marshmallows or whipped cream. Replace white bread with whole grain or wheat bread or white rice with brown rice.

Keep portion sizes healthy. Heaping platters of food can make people want to eat large portions or take seconds. To decrease overeating, use smaller plates, serving utensils, or bowls. Serve a buffet-style dinner on a separate table, so guests have to get up for seconds. Offer take-home containers, so guests don’t feel they have to eat everything “now.”

Create active after-dinner traditions. Instead of taking a nap, do something to burn off extra calories and promote family fun. Play a family game of touch football, or take an after-dinner walk.

For more tips on eating right and being active, visit NIH’s We Can! website.