Tips for holiday mealtimes

  • Aim to fill half your plate with fruits and/or veggies. At meals and parties, don’t ignore fruits and vegetables. They make great snacks and even better side or main dishes.
  • Take 10 seconds before taking a second serving. It takes a few minutes for your stomach’s “I’m getting full” signal to get to your brain. After finishing your first helping, make conversation, drink some water and then recheck your appetite. You might realize you are full or want only a small portion of seconds.
  • Savor the sweets. No food is on the naughty list. Choose the dishes you really love and can’t get any other time of year, like your aunt’s delicious pumpkin pie. Slow down and savor an appropriately sized serving.
  • Cook from and for your heart. To show family and friends that you really care about them, cook with creative recipes that use low-sodium seasonings, low-fat Greek yogurt or unsaturated (healthy) fats, like vegetable oils. Consider bringing a new dish to a party that highlights a fruit or vegetable in a different way.
  • Put on your dancing (or walking) shoes. Dancing is a great way to be physically active. If you are at a family gathering, suggest a walk before the feast or between dinner and dessert.
  • Pay attention to what really matters. Although food is an integral part of the holidays, put the focus on family and friends, laughter and cheer. If balance and moderation are your usual guides, it’s okay to indulge once in a while.

A note about holiday gatherings during COVID-19…

Holidays can be fun and safe by having a small dinner with only people who live in your household. You can also prepare traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Deliver meals to their doorstep or in a way to reduce in-person contact. When preparing recipes for a smaller group, use one of many free online recipe converters to help you quickly resize your recipes.

Rev. 11/2020. Mass General for Children and Massachusetts General Hospital do not endorse any of the brands listed on this webpage. This webpage is intended to provide health information so that you can be better informed. It is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to treatment of any medical conditions.