December 1st, 2010 09:33 EST
5 Tips For A Healthier Happy Holiday Season
The holiday season can be a fun and festive time of the year, but its association with overindulgence can make it one of the least healthy times of the year. Here are five tips from Fruits & Veggies-More MattersÂ® that will make your holiday celebrations a bit healthier.
1) Serve plenty of delicious, nutritious fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables may help reduce the risk of many diseases, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and some cancers. They are naturally low in calories and provide the fiber, vitamins, and minerals that your body needs to feel healthy and energized.Everyone can benefit from eating more fruits and vegetables! They`re also easy to incorporate into holiday meals. What table would be complete without sweet potatoes, cranberries, and pumpkin? Help your hectic day by keeping your favorite frozen and canned vegetables on hand. These cook up quickly to expand the meal without a lot of prep time.
2) Calories and fat still count, even during the holidays. Limit gravies, butter and other high-fat choices. Use fat-free or reduced fat ingredients in recipes and try lighter versions of traditional holiday dishes, such as green beans with roasted red peppers or apple stuffed acorn squash. Consider adding diced avocado or black olives to a salad instead of cheese. This swaps out a less healthy fat (saturated fat) and replaces it with healthy (monounsaturated) fat.
3) Don`t fast, keep loads of healthy snacks on-hand. Fasting in anticipation of the celebratory meal can lead to over-eating later. When guests arrive, make sure to put out a vegetable platter that includes a wide variety of colorful veggies with a choice of low-fat dips for munching. Keep healthful snacks, such as apples, tangerines, bananas, and dried fruits, easily accessible for a quick energy boost when days get hectic.
4) Drink in moderation. A can of soda has about 140-165 calories, and those add up quickly. Also, over-imbibing adult beverages can have many negative effects besides just a nasty hangover. Keep 100 percent fruit or vegetable juices on hand to mix with seltzer water and a garnish for a festive beverage alternative.
5) Take the Pledge! The America`s More Matters Pledge: Fruits & Veggies . . . Today and Every Day! online pledge campaign is motivating people across the nation to promise to eat more nutritious fruits and vegetables for their better health. The pledge encourages everyone to fully experience the variety of colors, flavors, and forms of delicious fruits and vegetables by choosing between three promises that will increase the availability of fruits and veggies in schools, or on their own plates. The America`s More Matters pledge is featured on the Fruits & Veggies-More MattersÂ® website, www.FruitsandVeggiesMoreMatters.org. It`s easy to pledge online and over 1,900 pledges have already been collected!
The Fruits & Veggies-More Matters website, has a wealth of tips and advice for healthy eating including; a recipe database with over 1,000 recipes, many of which can be made in 30 minutes or less, and a video center loaded with informational and entertaining short clips that offer fruit and veggie selection and storage advice and preparation and usage techniques. For more information about the America`s More Matters Pledge, or fruit and vegetable nutrition, visit www.FruitsandVeggiesMoreMatters.org.
About Produce for Better Health Foundation
Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) fruit and vegetable education foundation. Since 1991, PBH works to motivate people to eat more fruits and vegetables to improve public health. PBH achieves success through industry and government collaboration, first with the 5 A Day program and now with the Fruits & Veggies-More Matters public health initiative. Fruits & Veggies-More Matters is the nation`s largest public-private, fruit and vegetable nutrition education initiative with Fruit and Vegetable Nutrition Coordinators in each state, territory and the military. To learn more, visit www.PBHFoundation.org and www.FruitsandVeggiesMoreMatters.org. |