Food may be the centerpiece of a holiday get-together but that doesn’t mean healthy eating has to take a back seat. By changing a few eating and cooking habits, you can still enjoy the holidays in a way that’s good for you and your family. A few simple tips will help you enjoy the festivities and avoid calorie overload.

Table full of Holiday treats

Eating at a party

  • Choose only the foods you really love.
  • Think small portions when filling your plate.
  • Chew your food slowly; notice the taste and texture.
  • Drink water or low-calorie beverages.
  • Limit filling foods such as rolls and potatoes and select vegetables instead.

Holiday Cooking

  • Reduce fat in recipes by using substitutions such as low or fat-free dairy products.
  • Use less salt or substitute other flavorful spices.
  • To reduce the sugar in baking, check online for sugar substitutions.
  • Incorporate a new healthy appetizer or dessert into your meal. It may become a new family favorite.

Portion Sizes

  • Meat, chicken, pork, fish = 3 ounces or the size of your palm or deck of cards
  • Noodles, rice or oatmeal = 1/2 cup or a handful
  • Dry cereal = 1 cup, about the size of your fist
  • Fruit and vegetables = 1 cup, about the size of your fist

After the holidays, check out Healthy Habits for Adults, a series of one-hour classes offered by Oasis and community partners. Each class includes a healthy snack, recipe ideas, a nutrition lesson and low-impact exercise demonstrations.

Find out more at

Anthem Foundation