The Holidays are almost here! What can we do to enjoy the food and festivities and keep our family’s eating habits on track? Here’s a monthly plan for the holiday season that is fun and easy for the family to follow!

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday where family and food take center stage.  However, many of our favorite family recipes can be high in carbohydrates and unhealthy fats. With some mindful planning Thanksgiving does not have to be a holiday away from healthy eating. Try these tips to stay on track:
  • Don’t Forget the Veggies- Substitute a starchy side dish with a lighter vegetable side dish, like leafy greens, which are abundant in the fall. Pomegranates are a fun fall fruit, which can be sprinkled over a winter salad. Don’t know how to process a pomegranate? Check out this video to learn how.
  • Eat Seasonally: Many farmers markets are open into the cold winter months, and root vegetables and leafy greens are still easy to find. Try slow cooking collard greens with smoked turkey for added flavor. Winter squash and other root vegetables can be roasted and seasoned with cinnamon and other spices.
  • Update Recipes: Try substitutions to make recipes more healthful. Reducing sugar and substituting healthy fats for trans fats are ways that you can still enjoy your favorite recipes in a more healthful way. Try this updated Sweet Potato Casserole, which is a favorite at Thanksgiving.
December is a month that can be packed with festive gatherings loaded with temping foods. Here are some ideas to have fun during the holidays with good health in mind:
  • Get Creative– As we say at the Doctor Yum Project, “Healthy food can be fun, too!” Just check out this Broccoli Christmas Tree, which is fun to make with the kids and serve or take to your holiday party.  Starting December 1st try our Tasting (ADVENTure) Calendar to inspire your kids to try different food throughout the month.
  • Limit Sugar- It’s really easy to overeat sugary foods during this festive season. As an alternative try these Sugar Plums, sweetened mostly with dried fruit. Kids will love making this recipe as part of a new holiday tradition. Swap out a few cookies for a couple of these healthier treats to keep the refined sugar intake in check.
  • Enjoy the Variety of the Season– Citrus fruits are abundant in the winter months.  Most kids like oranges, so if you have a hesitant eater, trying different varieties of oranges (like blood oranges and tangerines) can build confidence in trying “new” foods. A citrus salad or our Shipwreck Salmon with Citrus Glaze will dress up any holiday table.
New Year’s Resolutions are popular in January. This is a great time of year to take stock of your family’s goals and make a fresh start. Here are a few ideas to get started, and keep you on track for the whole year.
  • Get the Big Picture on Health- Follow our “Prescription for a Healthy Family,” as a template for connecting your family around health and wellness.
  • Make a Family Mission Statement- The new year is a great time to put to paper those things that are important.  Our Family Mission Statement is a great way to do this. Write down the values that are important to your family following my easy to use template. Make sure to include health and wellness as a family priority. Make everyone, including the youngest members of your family, signs off on the mission statement, and display it in a place where it can be seen and revisited throughout the year. Download and print HERE.
Remember my 3 P’s for staying healthy: planning, preparation and prioritizing health during the holidays will help your set down new traditions that can keep your family healthy for years to come!
If you are interested in joining the Doctor Yum Project at our Holiday Open House on December 1st, click HERE!

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