Tips for Hosting a Less-Fattening Holiday Feast

By Diana Zuckerman, PhD

When the holidays arrive, good eating habits tend to go right out the door. Even those of us who make a conscious effort to maintain a healthy weight all year long often give in to the temptation to make, bake, buy, and consume all our favorite holiday dishes — in holiday-sized portions — from Thanksgiving through New Year’s. Then, we make resolutions to lose the pounds, but rarely do.

Not only do we sabotage our own health by over-eating and gaining “a few extra pounds” over the holiday season. We also sabotage the health of our loved ones by serving lots of fattening foods at holiday celebrations.

As a host, you can help your guests eat less by:

  • Serving lighter, healthier versions of favorite holiday dishes — foods and beverages that are deliciously family but lower in fat, salt, carbs, and calories.
  • Considering the calories as well as the taste. Some wonderful desserts have fewer calories, so check the package or an online guide to estimate the calories of the desserts you make or buy.
  • Offering smaller portions. With small slices or pieces, guests can take the amount they want.
  • Providing smaller plates and glasses.
  • Serving the food for a reasonable amount of time, and then clearing it away.

Healthy holiday eating: it just might be the best gift you give your family and friends this year.

holiday healthy

Diana Zuckerman, PhD, is President of the National Research Center for Women & Families and the Cancer Prevention and Treatment Fund.

 

Editor’s note: For more tips on healthy holidays with your friends and family click here.

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