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> Health 12 Tips for Healthy Holiday Choices

12 Tips for Healthy Holiday Choices


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11x17 poster size (pdf, 178K)

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Thoughts for keeping spirits bright throughout the holiday season, and beyond!

  1. Manage your stress levels, especially if you tend to react to stress by eating. Do the Holiday things you really enjoy, and forget the “shoulds” that you dread.
  2. Make time for physical activity (is this a dreaded “should?”) An evening walk around the neighborhood can feed your holiday spirit, and sooth your holiday stress. Walk to neighborhood parties instead of driving.
  3. Tame your appetite before parties with low-cal snacks that are more filling. Cut up fruit or raw vegetables (smaller pieces let you nibble longer,) whole grain cereals from the box, whole grain breads with a smear of peanut butter.
  4. Indulge in once-a-year holiday favorites; don't overindulge in all-year-around foods like chips. Then, indulge in moderation. Savor special treats as a way to savor your seasonal traditions.
  5. Ask for support, give support. Overcome the social pressures to eat “some of everything.” Respect others if they say, “no thanks” to your culinary creation.
  6. Make your dish-to-pass healthier with whole grains, vegetables, beans, fresh fruit, etc. Then you'll have at least one healthy dish to chose from at pot luck parties.
  7. Location, location, location. Socialize a safe distance from the hors d'oeuvres or bar. Put finger foods on a plate, rather than eating straight from the buffet table. That way you can keep tabs on how much you are eating.
  8. Know what's on the menu. Find out what's for dinner and plan your hors d'oeuvres consumption accordingly. Scan over all the buffet choices so you can plan your selections before you start loading your plate.
  9. Alcohol has a lot of calories, especially when mixed with cream or sweeteners as with Irish creams, flavored liqueurs, or holiday punch. Consuming alcoholic beverages might also affect your judgment about what you've eaten and how fill you feel.
  10. Focus on fruits and vegetables, but beware of calorie-dense sauces and salad dressings made with cream, butter, cheese or sweeteners.
  11. Keep portion sizes in check. For many foods, the amount for one serving is about what you can hold in one cupped hand. Double-size and super-size portions will crash your calorie control campaign in no time.
  12. Limit holiday eating to the holidays. Not everyday from Thanksgiving to New Year's is a holiday or holiday party. Save your indulgences for the special days.

Tips for everyday choices in the New Year:

Live free of using any tobacco products and avoid exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke; get some physical activity most days; eat whole grains, whole grain products and plenty of fruits and vegetables; learn how to limit your consumption of saturated fats, hydrogenated fats and added sugars; drink alcoholic beverages in moderation; get enough sleep; have fun.