By: Carol Heckman, RN, CNHP, MH, CNC

November heralds the Holiday Season… We know it can be a challenging time when it comes to making good food choices!

Here are our top tips to help you plan healthy food choices at home, with family and friends, and on the road during the holidays:

1. Know before you go. Before going to gatherings, or to events, consider what food options may be available. Ask ahead about the menu to know what your options are. That way, you can plan your food choices from what is being offered.

2. Bring your own and some to share. Knowing what the menu is before you go will also let you know what to bring with you, if there aren’t enough healthy food choices. Bring a dish to the party that you can eat and make enough to share with others.

Or if traveling to someone’s home (especially if potluck isn’t welcome), bring a cooler with some of your own food items, so you have a safe stash. Stocked coolers are a great way to eat healthy snacks and meals on the road, too!

3. Eat before you go. Not sure what the food offerings will be? Consider eating before you go, so you’re full and not tempted to munch on poor choices. You’ll be able to enjoy more time socializing this way!

4. When in doubt, add in more veggies. At home or with family at events, think of making your plate half vegetables – mix cooked, steamed, roasted, raw. At social events, head to the veggie tray first. On the road, grab a salad option instead of a burger and fries. Don’t forget to think of salad bars at local grocery stores for healthy options.

5. Put a healthy twist on family favorites. If you’re cooking and hosting, putting a nutritious twist on some family favorites makes it healthier for everyone. Or, start a new menu tradition this year. For example, consider roasting veggies as a side instead of veggies with sauce, or put a green salad on the menu. If you need inspiration, check out the recipes in our newsletters!

Happy Holidays!!

Carol is a Registered Nurse, as well as a Certified Natural Health Practitioner, a Master Herbalist, and a Certified Nutritional Consultant.