As you sit down around the table and give thanks for your family and friends, be sure to give thanks for your health. Whether you have lifestyle changes you are struggling to make, you have successfully made a healthy transition, or you have not even considered the importance of healthy living, use this opportunity to appreciate yourself. The best way to appreciate yourself, your body, and your health, is to treat yourself right! And by modeling that behavior, your children or other family members will see that they can make healthier choices as well.
Here are six ways to give T.H.A.N.K.S this season:
T—Trade. If you are cooking for your family, trade fattening ingredients for healthier alternatives. Reduce the use of oil and butter in baked goods, and use olive oil instead of vegetable oil. Olive oil has a lower content of unhealthy fats, is more natural, and even provides some health benefits.
H— High Fiber. Start your Thanksgiving with a high fiber breakfast. Skipping breakfast in an attempt to “save room” will only lead to over indulgence. Eggs, whole grain items, and fruit will keep your body satisfied and your metabolism steady leading up to your Thanksgiving meal.
A—Add dessert. Eliminating your favorite dessert around the holidays is painful and unnecessary, so add some to your plate! What is important is portion control. Take a smaller serving and be sure to scout out the dessert table before choosing so you don’t go back for that 2nd dessert you didn’t see.
N—No excuses. Cold weather is no excuse for sitting on the couch after dinner. If it isn’t warm enough for a family football game or other outdoor activities, plan something indoors. Games such as Twister, charades, and Simon Says can be fun for the whole family and will get everyone moving!
K —Keep Moving. Keep the whole family up and moving by making table clean-up fun! Instead of immediately retreating to the television, turn off the TV and turn on some of your favorite music while you and your loved ones clear the table and clean dishes.
S— Stop stuffing. Stuff the turkey, not yourself! If you eat slowly and talk with other guests between bites, your food will fill you up before you get the chance to stuff yourself. It is important to acknowledge when you are full, there is no need to store up food for the winter!
Are your good habits at home carried over into your school? Assess your school’s nutrition services.
Simply click below to log in to your Healthy Schools Program account, and answer the 8 questions in Module 4: Nutrition Services.