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Thanksgiving Feasting without Defeating

Make a choice to turn the winter holidays into a nutrition bonus versus disaster! Build momentum with the Thanksgiving Feast and skip along, right past New Year’s Eve, feeling healthy and fit.

Here are some tips to get you and your family started:

  1. Never, ever, ever go to a party or feast starving. Instead, go to a party satisfied or only slightly hungry to avoid choosing foods or amounts that you will regret later.
  2. Drink plenty of water the day of the feast. We often eat when we are thirsty. Cold weather means drier air both outside and in and increases our need for water – but we may not feel thirsty or remember to drink.
  3. Choose color. Offer and choose deeply colored vegetables…and lots of them to get a variety of nutrients to boost your immunity!
  4. Eat breakfast. Focus on whole grains, fruits, and low fat dairy options to get your metabolic engine purring, energy stores stoked and mood stablilization balanced.
  5. Fill your plate. Once. Eat leftovers later instead of a second serving.
  6. Choose a smaller plate to help with portion control. Remember, we eat beyond fullness when the food is on our plate.
  7. Go for the real stuff. Sour cream, cheese, whipped cream, brown sugar…savor the flavors rather than go for the volume. Holidays are the time for “real” flavor – just don’t overindulge.
  8. Keep your routine. Sleep, exercise and stick to meal and snack times to keep your stress level down so you can focus on enjoying yourself and what the season means to you.

For more information about healthy holiday feasting visit our healthy lifestyles webpage.

About our expert – Rachel Riddiford, MS, RD, LD

Rachel has been an employee of Dayton Children’s since 2004. She is currently the Manager of Clinical Dietetics and works as an eating disorder specialist in the Nutrition Clinic. Rachel completed her BS in Dietetics at Western Michigan University, Master’s degree at University of Dayton, and dietetic internship at Indiana University/Purdue University. She has also completed an American Dietetic Association Pediatric and Adolescent Weight Management Certificate.

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