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Cheap and healthy Christmas

Eating healthy during the Christmas season can present a challenge. Find tips to enjoy the abundant food of the season with out over doing it.

The Christmas season is here, and with it comes the challenge to eat healthy. The ideas presented in a cheap and healthy Thanksgiving can also be applied to our Christmas meals. Use staple ingredients prepared in simple ways to cut down on fat and calories, and to help keep the meal with in the budget. If we were only dealing with one holiday meal, as we generally do with Thanksgiving, these principals would suffice for Christmas also, but the Christmas season presents a larger challenge.

Christmas celebrations are spread out over several weeks. There are parties with co-workers, parties with social groups, and gatherings with families, not to mention the baking and candy making that many of us participate in at home. The food is abundant, and often loaded with fats and sugar. How do you keep your eating healthy with all this temptation? Below are a few suggestions:

Take a thank you serving

In my home, we tell our children that no matter what they are served they must take a thank you serving of every item. A thank you serving is a small serving, two or three bites, that you take as a thank you to the cook for the time spent making the dish, even when it is not one of your favorites.

During the holidays, not caring for a dish will probably not be the problem. The problem is there are too many delicious dishes before you and you want them all. Taking a normal sized serving of everything is likely to lead to a heaping plate, overeating, and indigestion. Get a taste or two of everything you like by taking thank you servings of all the dishes.

Pace yourself.

During the holiday season make an extra effort to eat slowly. Eating slowly will help you to realize when you’re full before you'e completely stuffed yourself. Eat your first plate of food slowly, savoring every delicious bite. Wait five or ten minutes and see if you are still hungry before loading your plate again. If you feel full, wait until your hungry again for seconds.

Out of sight, out of mind.

If you do a lot of baking or candy making at home either for your family or to give as gifts, put the finished products away, out of sight. Put items that freeze well into the freezer. Put other items away in the cupboard. It is too easy to snitch a cookie every time you go in the kitchen when they are lying out on the counter tempting you.

Christmas meals

Christmas presents a challenge to our budgets and to our diets. Keep the meals you prepare cheap and healthy by using basic ingredients prepared in a simple, but delicious manner. Keep your other holiday meals healthy by taking small servings, pacing yourself, and keeping sweets put away. Enjoy the season!