Thanksgiving is here, which is a time for family, festivity and food. It’s a time for giving thanks and it’s also an opportunity to reunite with loved ones, friends, and relations we haven’t seen for years. Everyone looks forward to some time off from work, a break from school and most popular, an opportunity to eat bountiful amounts of food! Additionally, it is the start of the holiday season, which can lead to holiday weight gain. Typically on Thanksgiving Day, families and friends gather around the dinner table to enjoy traditional foods like casseroles, turkey, stuffing, pies and more. Watching television is another big part of the day starting with the parade in the morning followed by football, on the couch – all day!
This Thanksgiving, weather permitting, try moving at least some of the party outdoors. Studies have shown that inactivity is increasing among children. This increase is leading to an amplified body weight and poor life-long habits. Getting kids active can help build their bone density and develop family fun-time routines. Play a game of touch-football, or simply take a walk. No special equipment is needed and it’s a good time for family conversation. You could also have some fun with a gourd hunt. Hide small gourds or pumpkins around the yard and whoever finds the most gets a special prize. Be creative – bike, roller-blade, swim, play tennis, or golf. Find an activity that gets the whole family involved.
Getting the family active is just part of the equation. Healthful eating habits are just as important. Start the day with a healthy breakfast, which refuels your body and jump-starts your day. Breakfast should consist of a variety of foods, such as whole grains, low-fat protein or a dairy source, and fruit. Having nourishing snacks available during the day before the big meal like raw vegetables with a dip, and apple slices will help curb your appetite and stop that starving feeling which leads to overeating.
Revitalizing old recipes by adapting them to a lighter version with less fats and oils can help cut calories. Better yet, try a new low-fat recipe – it may become a traditional favorite. Furthermore, studies have shown that eating slowly and engaging in mealtime conversations allows your stomach to get full slowly and stops you from overeating.
This Thanksgiving be thankful for your new approach to healthy living. Get the whole family involved in activities. Include healthy options on the food table, and most importantly enjoy your time spent with family and friends.