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Getting through the holiday gatherings

Holiday cheer is rampant from Thanksgiving through the New Year complete with gatherings and parties. With these events comes temptation to eat through the holidays and start fresh January 1st.
What do you do with the holiday food baskets that arrive? How do you get ready for the holiday office party? What are some ways to ensure you do not start the New Year heavier or unhealthier than the previous year?
Here are some tips to get through the holiday months and the gatherings that fill them:
1. When attending a holiday gathering that does not include a dinner, consider eating a small healthy meal at home first. When you visit the appetizer and dessert table later that night, allow yourself to sample two or three small items on the buffet.
2. Approach alcohol as though it were a dessert. You probably wouldn’t go to a party and eat three pieces of cake, so limit your adult beverage consumption. Ask for a half glass at a time. You can also offer to be a designated driver. This will not only save your waistline but provide a valuable service to someone you love.
3. When a large variety of chocolate Santas and candy canes are collected by your child, limit consumption at home using a 4 oz. portion-oontrolled container such as theYum Yum Dish. This great little stocking stuffer helps put a visual limit on consumption…a great habit to cultivate. Drop one or two pieces of candy in the dish and your child will be reminded that “Yum Yum Time is…Over” when the candy is gone.
4. Keep a Yum Yum Dish in your desk drawer at work. It’s a great way to pace yourself through the non-stop eating marathon we call “December.”
5. Buy your child a smaller stocking! If your children have a “keepsake stocking” that just can’t be replaced, take up space with some little gift they’ve been asking for. For non-candy stuffers try a few of the following: fruit roll-ups, raisins, granola bars, juice packs, money/coins, stickers, age appropriate toys, children’s jewelry and books, and gift cards.
6. DO SOMETHING! Go ice-skating or skiing. Stroll through the neighborhood and sing some holiday songs. Shovel the driveway and sidewalk of a few neighbors who can’t or shouldn’t be doing it themselves. Work in a community kitchen and help serve a holiday meal to those who don’t have a place to live or food to eat. Take a 10-minute walk on December 1 and then add an extra minute to the walk every day. By the end of the year, you’ll be walking for 40 minutes.

Tracy Adler is a restaurant owner, mother of two and an advocate in the fight against childhood obesity. She created Yum Yum Dishes to help parents teach their children about correct portion size. For more info, visit www.YumYumDish.com.

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