It can be hard to change things that you’ve always done. This is especially true when it comes to the holidays. We have so many emotions tied up into the food.

Grandma’s pound cake, Aunt Betty’s eclair cake, and your husband’s twice stuffed baked potatoes can’t be beat. That’s true. But what if you liked the healthier version better? You won’t know if you don’t try.

  1. Find New Recipes – You likely follow healthy food bloggers already, why not try their healthy holiday recipes. There is no one forcing you to keep making that old-fashioned sweet potato casserole covered in marshmallows. You can change it, and make it super healthy, and delicious too.
  2. Use Substitutions – When you cook, keep using all the substitutions you’ve become accustomed to using. Don’t change it just because it’s a holiday. If you normally use coconut oil because you believe it’s healthier, keep using it. If you like to use applesauce in baking, instead of butter or Crisco, go right ahead. Most people won’t even realize it if you don’t tell them.
  3. Add Movement – Many times, during any family event, it’s just food and TV. But you can change that up by adding in physical activities such as touch football, sledding, skiing, and even hook up the Dance Revolution game in the family room and have a contest.
  4. Put it Away – When everyone is done with eating the meal, go ahead and put things away, including the leftovers that you want people to take with them. Buy extra containers to make it easy for people to take food home with them. If you put the food away, it’s less tempting to snack the rest of the day. We often overeat because it tastes good, not because we’re hungry.
  5. Serve Others – A great way to take the pressure off is to find a family friendly charity that you can help. There are so many during the holidays, that you’re sure to find something. If you volunteer, you’re going to stay physically busy, less focused on your own pleasure, and it feels great.
  6. Tell a Story – A great activity when you have a lot of little ones is to tell old stories. This is good right before bedtime, to calm everyone down. If you don’t have any family stories, get out a book and read to everyone. Many times, the adults love it just as much as the kids. It signals the end to eating time and helps kids get into bed and sleep soundly.

You can create brand new traditions that will not only help you become healthier all year long, it will set a great example for the rest of your family, especially your kids. Because the fact is, good food is good, even if it’s healthy.