5 Tips for Happy, Healthy Holidays

5 Tips for Happy, Healthy Holidays

By: St. Vincent

November 14, 2018

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veggie platter decorated to look like a cartoon turkey

It’s true: You can enjoy your holiday gatherings and make healthy choices at the same time.

From family dinners to office parties to school and community events, holidays and food go hand-in-hand. It may be difficult to maintain your willpower, and weight gain may seem inevitable. However, you need not deprive yourself: It’s possible to stay healthy during the holiday season without sacrificing festive food and fun. These five tips will help keep your weight down and your holiday spirits high.

  1. Practice mindfulness. Eating while distracted makes it easier for you to lose track of how much you have eaten. Focus on eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full. Slow down to enjoy your food. It takes several minutes for your brain to get the signal that your stomach is full. Avoid eating in front of the TV or computer screen, and steer clear of snacking while you cook.
  2. Find healthier alternatives. Look for ways to shave extra calories off your holiday favorites. For example, try baked sweet potatoes instead of candied yams, or make steamed veggies instead of a casserole.
  3. Watch your glass. Juices, alcohol or sugar-laden coffee drinks can quickly add empty calories. Just like holiday foods, look for healthier alternatives. If you do choose to indulge in a high-calorie drink, adjust your food choices accordingly.
  4. Choose where you socialize carefully. Gathering to talk around the snack table can lead to mindless eating. Engage in conversations away from the spread.
  5. Don’t wait for one big meal. It may seem smart to eat less during the day to “save up” on calories before a big event, but it may lead to overeating once you’re at the event. Instead, choose small but regular meals throughout your day to keep yourself from getting too hungry.

Fresh Fruit With Cinnamon Yogurt Dip

This recipe takes only five minutes to make and is a great appetizer for any holiday event.


  • 1 medium apple
  • 1 medium orange
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz.) 100% orange juice
  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt, low-fat
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


Core and slice the apple. Peel the orange and break into sections. Pour the orange juice into a small bowl. Dip the fruit pieces into the orange juice to prevent browning. Arrange on a plate. Mix the yogurt and cinnamon in a small bowl. Put the bowl of yogurt next to the fruit and serve.

Nutritional Information

  • Calories: 120
  • Carbohydrates: 26g
  • Total Fat: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 5mg
  • Saturated Fat: 0g
  • Dietary Fiber: 3g
  • Percent of Calories from Fat: 13%
  • Sodium: 35mg
  • Protein: 3g

Recipe courtesy of Produce for Better Health Foundation morematters.org.

To learn about nutrition support at St. Vincent, visit stvincent.org/Services/Nutrition-Support.

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