Healthy habits for the Holidays

During the holidays, healthy habits can be disrupted. Some people might wonder what healthy habits may get disrupted during the holidays [1]:

  • Eating three meals per day to avoid the restricting/binging cycle that people get more caught up in during the holidays.
  • Allowing a cheat meal without feeling guilty, get back on track the next meal.
  • Getting plenty of sleep to avoid the high fat and high sugar trap which occurs as a result of sleep deprivation during the holidays.
  • Realizing that there is no naughty list of foods.
  • Starting out with a plate of vegetables to take the edge off of your appetite and then taking a small plate of your favorite foods.
  • Eating slowly because it takes 20 minutes for your body to feel full.
  • Focusing on having fun instead of eating the entire night.
  • Taking a walk after eating your food. It relieves stress from the holidays and helps make up from overeating during the holidays.
  • Avoiding or limiting alcohol as it can have a negative effect on your body.
  • Traveling and parties disrupt your regular eating times. Eating late at night can affect your sleep.
  • Eating enough lean protein can help curb sugar cravings and overeating [5].

Particularly for children, here are some helpful recommendations [2]:

  • Help your children “eat the rainbow” of ½ plate of fruits and vegetables.
  • For children over age 2, only have 10% of food consist of sugar.
  • Adopt a reduced screen time plan [3] (e.g. stop screen use an hour before bed, no screen time at meals).
  • Introduce water as a healthy drink [4]. Caffeinated beverages contribute to poor sleep, dehydration, and anxiety. Regular soda has too much sugar [4].
  • Adopt a consistent sleep schedule for kids and teach sleep hygiene.
  • Encourage regular exercise.
  • Adopt these habits for yourself because kids do what you do.
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
  3. American Academy of Pediatrics,
  4. Mayo Clinic, Water, how much should you drink every day?
  5. 7 foods that can fight sugar cravings,
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