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MANAGING NUTRITION FOR YOUR FAMILY OVER THE FESTIVE SEASON AND WHEN AWAY

MANAGING NUTRITION FOR YOUR FAMILY OVER THE FESTIVE SEASON AND WHEN AWAY

We all know too well that healthy eating takes a back seat when the summer holiday and festive season is upon us, only for new year’s resolutions to be dominated by healthy eating and weight loss goals after the overindulgence period. It’s a never-ending cycle of overindulgence and strict dieting to compensate which leaves us feeling defeated. But what if we could break this cycle without missing out on all the festive treats? Yes, it’s possible- and here are some tips to help you navigate your family’s nutrition during the holidays: 


1. Be prepared- plan ahead

We get it! The last thing you want to do during the holiday is plan, but some minimal meal and snack planning can have massive benefits. Make a list of healthy, delicious meals that you want to prepare each week and then make enough to ensure a second meal from all your cooking efforts. That means you only have to cook 3-4 times a week while providing your family with nutritious meals every day.

2. Shopping lists

After you have planned your weekly meals, make a shopping list with all the ingredients you would need. When you have all the ingredients, you will feel encouraged to prepare the meals planned while saving time as you only have to visit the shops once a week. Limited visits will also assist in avoiding temptations at the shop. 

3. Start the day smart

Breakfast is the easiest meal to make super nutritious as there are so many instant options available. Include a breakfast that is high in fibre and protein to keep you fuller for longer. A great option is FUTURELIFE® Smart food™ as it is high in protein, energy, fibre, vitamins, minerals and omega-3. The whole family can enjoy FUTURELIFE® Smart food™, simply add water or milk and enjoy as a meal or a shake. 

4. Minimalistic lunches  

Whether you’re heading out or staying in, a simple sandwich is an excellent lunch option. Include a protein (sugar free peanut butter, egg, low fat cheese, leftover chicken/beef, beans etc.) and a vegetable (tomato, lettuce, gherkins etc.) to transform your sandwich into a balanced meal using a low GI brown bread.

 

5. Healthy snacks

Snacking is usually the main culprit when it comes to weight gain during the festive season as we unknowingly overindulge on high calorie snacks. Keep healthy snacks on hand for you and the kids. Healthy snacking options include fruit, nuts, air popped popcorn, unsweetened yogurt, cut fruit with guacamole/ low fat hummus etc.  FUTURELIFE® High Protein Lite Bars are a great snack option that you can keep with you when you’re on-the-go.

 

6. Eating out? Choose healthier options.

It’s inevitable that we will be eating out or enjoying takeaways more regularly during the holidays. And it might feel difficult to eat healthy, but here are some tips:

  • Choose restaurants that have healthier options available
  • Substitute chips for salad or vegetables
  • Share starters and/or deserts instead of each having their own
  • Choose zero calorie drinks like zero sugar variants of your favourite drink or sparkling water

7. Plan holiday outings around activities and not food 

It’s true that food is an integral part of South African social activities. But what if we changed our social outings to centre around a specific activity instead of food. Instead of meeting friends at a restaurant, we can meet them at the beach, a park or on a foot path to enjoy being active together. Not only are you then being physically active, but you are avoiding overindulgence too. 


CONCLUSION

There are many ways to stay healthy and active during the holiday season, and that then leaves space for special treats. Building a healthy relationship with food is key to breaking the dieting cycle, and although this will require some planning and determination, healthy nutrition habits will benefit your entire family.

 

 DATE: November 2022

 

Author: Bianca Tromp  RD (SA)

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