Staying healthy during the busy season

Tips that can help you stay healthy during holiday festivities.

Season festivities and family functions are a great way to spend time together. Campfires, graduations, holidays and all of these fun activities usually include eating cakes, hot dogs, hamburgers, sugary drinks, chips, s’mores, chili and much more. You may be wondering how we are going to stay healthy with all of these activities.

Simple tips for staying healthy during festivities:
  1. Find alternatives to soft drinks. Instead of sodas bring you own infuse water or 100 percent fruit and vegetable juices. These healthy beverages will provide you with more nutrients, but keep in mind that many juices still contain sugars that can add up. Soft drink alternatives can help keep your family hydrated. Additional tips can be found here, better beverage choices website.
  2. Don’t forget to snack! Include fruit and vegetables as snacks to bring to the lake or to camping such as precut and prewashed snap peas, apples, carrots and celery sticks, mandarins, grapes. Dried fruit is also a good fruit option. Follow My Plate tips for kid-friendly veggies and fruit snacks. Incorporate dairy into your snacks on the go. Low-fat string cheese is a convenient way to sneak in some dairy. Or easily take some low-fat yogurt in a cooler.
  3. Read the labels before eating it! Avoid the big bag of chips and refined grains, pick whole-wheat crackers, popcorn and granola bars instead. These are high in fiber and low in added sugars, fat and sodium. 
  4. Eat smart when eating out!. When eating out, choose the “child’s size” portion, share the main dish or save half for later. Try looking for grilled, broiled, baked, low-fat and low-sodium options.
  5. Plan healthy family picnics instead of dinner parties. You can bring healthier food options and stay active during the day by enjoying light exercise like volleyball, football, soccer or swimming.

Following the above tips and exploring how they can work best for you is a great step towards a balanced diet. If you would like to learn more about heathy eating, visit USDA’s My Plate page. Michigan State University Extension offers various educational programs for adults, families, and children that promote healthy eating.

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