Cincinnati Children’s Expert Gives Tips on How to Eat Healthy During the Holidays

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Allison Bourgraf, RD, LD, a clinical dietitian in the Division of Nutrition Therapy at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, shares the following tips on how parents and children can enjoy tasty foods during the holiday season and still stay healthy.

  • Don't skip meals.  Trying to "save your calories" may leave you starving by the time dinner is served and will likely lead to overeating.  Stick to your normal meal schedule as much as possible and avoid "grazing." 
  • If your special meal of the day is served buffet style, decrease the portion size of each item that you put on your plate.  Survey the buffet and decide what foods you would really enjoy eating and skip on the ones you don't prefer to keep your caloric intake down.
  • Fill half your plate with vegetables, salad and fruit, which are higher in fiber and lower in calories.  Eating these items first can help fill you up and decrease your consumption of high-fat, high-calorie foods.
  • To decrease overall consumption, talk in between bites to your family and friends. When you're finished eating, wait 10-15 minutes to assess your hunger. 
  • Be careful of consuming high-sugar beverages.  Soda and sugary juices can add a lot of empty calories to an otherwise healthy meal.  Substitute water, sparkling water or reduced calorie beverages for healthier options.
  • Offer to provide a healthy side or appetizer.  This will ensure you have a healthy option at the meal.
  • Don't forget to be active during the holidays. 

About Cincinnati Children's

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center ranks third in the nation among all Honor Roll hospitals in U.S.News & World Report's 2014 Best Children's Hospitals. It is also ranked in the top 10 for all 10 pediatric specialties. Cincinnati Children's, a non-profit organization, is one of the top three recipients of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health, and a research and teaching affiliate of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. The medical center is internationally recognized for improving child health and transforming delivery of care through fully integrated, globally recognized research, education and innovation. Additional information can be found at . Connect on the Cincinnati Children's blog , via Facebook and on Twitter .

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Danielle Jones