Tips for Healthy Holiday Eating

Lisa C. COVID-19, Daily Life, Newcomer Information

As the year 2020 draws to an end, the COVID-19 pandemic is still going on. The lockdowns and stay-at-home orders have led to dramatic changes in our behaviors, habits and daily routines.

Whether we have contracted the virus or not, this global pandemic is affecting everyone’s mental and physical health to some extent, largely (and unfortunately) for the worse.

No more commutes or gym visits results in the cutting back of physical activities, rendering our sedentary lifestyle even more sedentary; we dine out less, but we snack more on junk foods; anxiety, coronavirus-related or not, has led to stress eating (or stress not eating) among many, … You get the idea.

But the scenario doesn’t have to be so grim. Remember you are always in full control of your healthy habits! With Christmas and the New Year just a couple of weeks away, let’s take a look at a few tips for healthy holiday eating.

What does a healthy meal look like?

According to the Healthy Holiday Eating guide by Alberta Health Services, fill the centre of your plate with the following:

Eat regularly
  • Maintain 3 meals per day even during holidays when you may wake up late.
  • Avoid skipping meals, which may make you very hungry and result in overeating at a later time.
Eat slowly
  • Chew your food thoroughly before swallowing.
  • Wait for 10 or 20 minutes before going for a second round.
Snack healthily

Snacking is okay, but here are some healthier choices than brownies or Cheetos:

  • Celery sticks with peanut butter
  • Cucumber or baby carrots with hummus
  • Wholewheat crackers paired Greek yogurt
  • Apple slices sprinkled with ground cinnamon and microwaved
  • Unsalted mixed nuts
Non-alcoholic drinks
  • Many holidays drinks add additional calories, sodium and sugars, e.g. eggnog, hot chocolate, fruit punch, pop, etc.
  • Whenever you can, go for healthier non-alcoholic drinks, e.g. plain coffee, tea, carbonated water with fruit pieces for extra flavor, etc.
Not everybody consumes alcohol, but if you do:
  • Remember that alcohol adds calories too.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol on an empty stomach, so as to have full control over what you eat.
Last but not the least, enjoy the holidays and enjoy your food!
  • Eating food you like without judgment can help you develop a healthy attitude about food.
  • The company also matters. Focus on the laughter and cheerful moments shared with your family.
  • It is okay to indulge yourself once in a while, after all that we’ve been through in 2021.

Below is a downloadable Healthy Holiday Eating guide by Alberta Health Services

Word of the Day:

Sedentary: involving a lot of sitting and little physical exercise