Happy Holiday Eating!

Tessa Nguyen, Certified Chef de Cuisine and student at Meredith College, is a Dietetic Intern with Rex Culinary Services. Follow her on twitter @TNutritionista.

The Holidays. Sometimes we say it with a twinge of fear as we brace for the whirlwind months filled with shopping and getting everything “just right” before family and friends come to visit. This is all without even thinking about what we’re going to prepare for the holiday feast! Here are some easy tips to take on healthy holiday eating.

Small plates, big taste.

Our eyes are good at deceiving us. In the case of holiday eating, this is a good thing. Swap out a large dinner plate for a smaller salad plate so you can fill up your plate without filling up past the point of comfort. Having a smaller plate helps encourage you to eat slowly so you can savor each bite of delicious holiday goodness.

Eat your fruits and veggies.

Yes, mom was right. Not only will Mother Nature’s bounty make us grow up to be big and strong, they also taste delicious and are super easy to prepare. Wash fruits and vegetables, cut them up, and serve with low fat Greek yogurt (for the fruit) and hummus (for the vegetables) for an easy appetizer. This is always a crowd-pleaser because who doesn’t like finger food?

Hold the bubbly.

The holidays are all about celebrating, and what better way than with your favorite bubbly beverage, be it beer, champagne, or the like. Although a finely crafted beverage can taste quite good, they fill you up pretty quickly. All the carbonation leaves you feeling bloated without room to eat any of the holiday treats your family and friends have so lovingly prepared for you. To be friendly on your belly this season, try alternating between drinking water and your favorite fizzy beverage throughout the evening. This will give you the satisfaction of enjoying some bubbly without bubbling over.

Indulge, a little.

We all have our favorite holiday food, from Grandma’s chocolate chip cookies to Aunt Sue’s green bean casserole. When someone tells us we can’t have something, we want it even more. That’s why having a small taste of your favorite item is just the trick to satisfy your craving. The key is to make sure to keep to a small serving so you don’t overdo it.

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Hopefully these healthy holiday eating tips will help you feel more prepared and ready to take on this holiday season without having to break out your favorite pair of sweatpants!

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