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Creating Healthier Holidays for All

By Brandi Swieter 

Many of the holidays celebrated throughout the year, particularly in the fall and winter months, revolve around unhealthy traditions. Kids eat tons of candy, families feast on fattening meals, and countless desserts are enjoyed. Though these food choices are fine to make in moderation, they are not ideal month after month through the thick of the holiday season. It's possible to create healthier holidays for all if party hosts make some changes to their plans. 

Skip the Gravy

Gravy used on mashed potatoes is high in fat and sodium. Skip the gravy to avoid the extra calories and poor nutrition. Mashed potatoes can be seasoned with pepper or garlic to make it more flavorful. If gravy is a favorite that the family still desires, making a homemade version without the extra sodium is the best solution. 

Include Fruity Desserts

Many of the desserts included for the holidays are high in fat and sugar. Making fruity desserts is the better option. This includes simply having a fruit tray at the dessert table that people can pick and choose from throughout the evening. Opt for red and green options to make the plate festive, such as strawberries, kiwi, green grapes, and pomegranates. A piece of fruit pie instead of a chocolate one is also going to be the healthier selection. 

Limit Beverages

The beverages offered at holiday parties often involve soda pop, apple cider, eggnog, punch, and sometimes alcohol. Each of these choices are full of sugar and calories. It's best to limit the beverages served and consumed. Water is of course the healthiest choice. Individuals who don't enjoy drinking plain water can opt for a fruit-infused version to help liven it up and add some flavor. 

Incorporate Fitness through Games

The focus shouldn't only be on the meal. With lots of time to spend together, families can add games to their festivities. These games can help incorporate fitness into the holiday. Every member of the family can work up a sweat trying to run down the hall with a balloon between their eggs, making their way through a set up course. Even something as simple as playing catch outside can burn some calories. 

Creating healthier holidays for all should be the goal each year. No matter the holiday, families can enjoy fewer calories while still tasting sweet treats if just a few substitutions are made. Health is important to maintain; just because a holiday is around the corner doesn't mean wellness should go out the window. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Gilbert, Ariz.

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