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Have a Healthier Holiday

Nov 26, 2018

Have a Healthier Holiday

By Shelby Rachel, Dietetic Intern

December is filled with holiday gatherings spent with family and friends. It is a great time to enjoy extra time with your loved ones, but for some people that means their health and dietary intakes go to the wayside. Here are some tips and resources to help you and your family stay on track with your health this holiday season.

It is likely that you have many things on your to-do list around this time of year. Add meal prepping to that list to remove some of the stressors later in the week. This task may sound daunting to some, but it can be as simple as ever and result in great outcomes!  

Take some extra time at the beginning of the week or before you go grocery shopping to plan out your meals and snacks. This can help to limit food waste, remove the chance for temptations, and prepare your family for the meals they will be eating that week. Having a grocery list and meal plans for the week can help to save money and limit food waste by not over purchasing grocery items. It can also help to save you an extra mid-week trip to the grocery store.

When you have your meals planned and snacks prepared, you reduce the risk of unhealthy eating temptations. Preparing fresh fruits and vegetables at the beginning of the week, and having them readily available in the refrigerator is a great way to set yourself up for success. Typically, when people are hungry for a snack, they don’t want to take the time to prepare it. Having your produce cut and ready to eat can be a great way to avoid choosing less healthy snacks.    

Allowing your family to be involved in choosing meals or snacks that they enjoy could also reduce some of your stress. By creating a menu together, you can include meal options that everyone enjoys. Having a weekly menu visible for your family to see can ensure you are all on the same page when it comes to meal time. If you are properly nourishing your body—you are less likely to reach for the extra sweets that always seem to be around during the holiday season.


Snack Ideas

  • Veggies and Dip
  • Fruit and Nut Butter
  • Greek Yogurt and Granola
  • Cottage Cheese and Fruit
  • Nuts and Dried Fruit
  • Whole Grain Toast and Avocado
  • Fruit and Vegetable Smoothies
  • Wheat Crackers and Cheese
  • Hard-Boiled Eggs
  • Turkey Roll Ups (turkey, wheat tortilla, cream cheese)
  • Popcorn


Weekly Dinner Menu Ideas

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Chicken, Vegetable Stir Fry with Brown Rice Loaded Taco Salad Bowls  Shrimp Asparagus Linguini Turkey Burgers and Baked Fries  Chicken Caesar Salad Zucchini Noodles with Spaghetti Sauce   Pork Chops and Green Beans 


Grocery List

Produce Protein Miscellaneous
  • Veggies of Choice for Stir Fry (broccoli and onion)
  • Taco Toppings and Turkey Burger Toppings (lettuce, tomato, onion)
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet Potatoes or Regular Potatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Zucchini
  • Green Beans
  • Chicken Breast (Sunday and Thursday)
  • Ground Beef (Monday and Friday)
  • Shrimp (Tuesday)
  • Ground Turkey (Wednesday)
  • Pork Chops (Saturday)
  • Stir Fry Sauce
  • Brown Rice
  • Taco Seasoning
  • Black Beans
  • Wheat linguini Noodles
  • Wheat Buns
  • Caesar Dressing (if desired, parmesan, tomatoes, croutons)
  • Tomato Sauce

*Don't forget to add healthy snacks to your list!


Meal Prepping Tips

  • Make extra at dinner time to save prep time on your weekly lunches.
  • Stick to your list to avoid overspending.
  • Begin with simple recipes to avoid extra stress.
  • Choose recipes that include the same ingredients, but are prepared differently for variety.
  • Use different spices to add variety and flavor (Look for salt-free spices!)
  • Choose Frozen Vegetables to simplify prep and reduce costs.
  • Block out some time on your calendar to grocery shop and meal prep.
  • Use a slow cooker for nights where you don’t have much time to cook.