Thursday, November 17, 2011

Holiday Eating Tips {Don't Blow Your Diet!} & some "Healthy Eating" Printables {for Kids}

I am so excited about the upcoming holidays, but I am also so NERVOUS about all the wonderful food that comes with these holidays! Just think about it....turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potato pie, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, chocolate pie, pecan pie....I could go on and on.

In the past, part of the excitement of Thanksgiving and Christmas for me has definitely been all the yummy food. Hey, I'm just being honest! :-) I remember times that I ate so much at one meal that I became physically sick. GOOD GRIEF! That's ridiculous!

But that was in the past. This year I have made some amazing transformations in my eating habits, and I'm not about to let old habits creep back in. I'm preparing myself mentally now, so that I will not succumb to temptations over the next several weeks! So far on my weight loss journey, I have gotten rid of 20 pounds. Isn't that AMAZING? I am so happy! Thinking about this huge accomplishment is definitely part of my motivation to avoid going overboard (and sinking) during the holidays.

So, how am I preparing myself for battle mentally? By committing these basic tips (several are from the professional trainers of the Biggest Loser tv show) for holiday eating to memory...
  • Don't "graze" while the holiday meal is being prepared. Decide to save your eating for that special time when the whole family sits down for dinner.
  • If you can, use a smaller plate. This will make your plate look full, but you'll still be eating less.
  • Wear tighter fitting clothes, so you can feel every bite!
  • Get off the couch! After the holiday meal, get your family members to go on a walk or play football outside. Do something active to burn some of those calories.
  • Use applesauce or other sugar substitutes when you're baking.
  • Have a baked sweet potato instead of sweet potato pie.
  • If you think you can handle it, let yourself have one (and only one) bite of the foods you love but can't eat.
  • Remember what is truly important about the holidays...your FAMILY and FRIENDS...not eating!
  • Make sure the menu includes dishes you can eat.
  • Don't take leftovers home. That could turn one day of bad eating into several days!
  • Eat SLOWLY and force yourself to set your fork down in between each bite. It takes your body 20 minutes to feel full, so eating too fast may lead to over-eating. 
  • When you're out doing your Christmas shopping, take healthy snacks with you so you won't be tempted to eat fast food.
  • Make sure you're drinking plenty of water.
  • Post your eating and exercising goals on your fridge. Carry them with you. Read them every time you are feeling tempted to be bad!
  • Pray that God will help you overcome the temptation! :-)
  • Watch a motivational documentary or tv show about food/weight loss.
  • Read a motivational book about food/weight loss.
  • Share your goals with your family and friends.
  • Reward yourself (not with food!) each time you are successful at parties and get-togethers!

If you have little ones, make sure you are watching what they eat during the holidays as well. My boys (ages 4 and 2) both LOVE sweets. But when they eat sugary stuff...OH WOW! Watch out! They almost immediately begin to act crazy. So, we really have to limit their sugar intake.

Did you know that according to the CDC, about 16% of children are overweight? This can lead to multiple health problems including diabetes and high blood pressure. Yikes! I do NOT want that for my kids. However, my boys fight healthy eating with everything they've got (especially my 4-year-old). Figures, huh? Do they want to eat their fruits and veggies? No way. But they need to. So, I am dealing with trying to build healthy eating habits not only for myself but also for them. It can be so hard sometimes!

One thing that is helping my older son is to have an eating chart with a reward system. Each day we talk about what he needs to eat and we track it on his chart. At the end of the week (or day if it's an especially difficult one), he gets a reward for eating right. That's a huge motivator for him!

I decided to include these charts in today's post as free printables for you! I have a weekly chart and a daily chart. You can use either or both! Laminate them and stick them on your fridge. Then just use a dry-erase marker and let the kiddos fill in the boxes with check-marks or stars or smiley faces. I have also attached a printable with the USDA's new MyPlate guide. It's a great way to visualize what your plate of food should look like.

Download these printables here (be sure to click "File > Download Original" to save it):

Try to think of various ways to educate and motivate your kids to be healthy. There are literally tons of resources out there! Reading books about nutrition to your kids is a GREAT way to both educate and motivate them. Another idea is finding age appropriate workbooks. For example, I found this really cute workbook at Dollar General, and my son loves it! It has colorful worksheets and charts about food groups, exercise, hygiene, doctor's visits, and sleeping habits.

Exploring educational websites is another fun way to get kids thinking about their health. There are so many sites that have games as well as information for parents that encourage healthy eating and exercise. Here are just a few:

Well, I hope this has motivated YOU to keep on track during the holiday season! I am definitely NOT a health professional/expert, so this stuff doesn't come to me easily! I have to be intentional about learning it and choosing it for my family. But every day that I do, I build healthy habits for me and my loved ones. It's so worth it and I know it's the right thing to do. Remember, a healthy home is a happy home! :-)

If you have any more tips for staying on course, I'd sure love to read them!

Linking up to these wonderful blogs!

Taking Time Out Thursday at Mom on Time Out
Hearts 4 Home at Our Simple Country Life
A Christ-Centered Christmas at The Encouraging Home
Wise Woman Link Up at A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
Haute Stuff Thursday at Frugalicious Me
Show Me What Ya Got at Not Just a Housewife
Creative Bloggers Party Hop at Homemaker on a Dime
Show and Share at Southern Lovely
Creative Spark at Clean and Scentsible
Homemaking Link Up at Raising Homemakers
Wow Me Wednesday at Polka Dots on Parade
Crafty Scrappy Happy Me Thursday at Jaimelyn11
Feature Yourself Friday at Fingerprints on the Fridge
Linky Party at I {Heart} Naptime
Just Something I Whipped Up at The Girl Creative


  1. The printables are great! I will be printing these off today. Thanks!

  2. Thank you so much for linking up this helpful post to A Christ-Centered Christmas! Very helpful!

  3. Thank you so much for linking up to last weeks show and share. Make sure to come back and link up this week with your latest project.

    A mommy's life...with a touch of yellow

  4. Great post. Glad I found your blog. Following!