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Healthy during the holidays

December 11, 2014
Jasmin Foster , MOV Parent

With Thanksgiving behind us the holiday season is far from over as the end of the year approaches. Children will be out of school for holiday break and at home until the start of the New Year.

For many, celebrations with family and friends continue which means more traveling and gatherings. When celebrating it is important to be mindful of the foods we feed our family usually served during this time. Here are some tips for staying healthy during the holiday season.

Shop on a Full Stomach

Stores will be packed as people shop for presents. Eating before you arrive will keep children full while shopping. Shopping with hungry children can result in spending additional money at the food court.

Stash Snacks

While traveling with the family, store high fiber snacks, if possible, to keep children full longer. Instead of chips and candy pack veggies, nuts, granola bars, and fruit. Pack the cooler full of water and 100 percent fruit juices and label plastic zip lock bags for each child during long drives. Save money with your own pre-packaged snacks while on the road.

Drink Plenty of Water

Beware of excess calories in holiday beverages. Drink water in between to quench thirst and cut down the calories.

Keep up the Exercise

The holidays can be a busy time of year. It's easy to get outside of your everyday routine. Stay on track this holiday season and take advantage with the family in outdoor fun by sledding, playing in the snow and utilizing your local gym or community center. Play a holiday themed Simon Says with Santa Says. Turn a classic game into an opportunity for physical exercise with a holiday twist.

Portion Size

At the dinner table this holiday season, use a smaller plate and cup to practice portion control. Satisfy those craving by consuming a smaller portion.

Cooking Holiday Meals

Involve the entire family when making holiday meals and treats. Use substitutes for common items when baking replacing butter with applesauce to reduce calories and fat.

Egg Nog Cake Recipe


16.5 ounce package of yellow mix cake

6 ounces fat free Greek yogurt

1 cup of water

2 large egg whites

1 1/2 tbsps. of nutmeg, plus extra for garnish

Baking spray

Fat free cool whip topping

Pre-heat oven to 350F. Spray 9x13 in baking pan with baking spray. Combine yellow cake mix, Greek yogurt, nutmeg, water and egg whites in large bowl. Pour mix into pan and bake for 28 to 30 minutes. Once cake is cool spread the fat free cool whip on top of cake. Sprinkle nutmeg on top to decorate. Enjoy!

Eating during the holidays does not have to mean spending extra money on fast food and over eating at holiday gatherings.

Keep your budget and kids appetite on track. Enjoy the season with your family living healthy.

Jasmin Foster is an OSU Dietetic Intern.



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