For healthy holidays try moderation and balance

Marissa Dimas

With the holidays comes fun, family, and, of course, delicious foods. While holiday favorites are usually eaten around this time of the year, these foods can sometimes be overeaten and be high in calories, fat, and added sugars. Therefore, conscious decisions on the types and amounts of foods can be even more important. Amy Valdez, Extension Program Specialist with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, shares that “Food plays a big role during the holidays. It brings us traditions, comfort, and a sense of togetherness. It’s okay to enjoy your holiday foods but keep in mind moderation is key”. Aside from a well-balanced meal and eating holiday favorites in moderation, physical activity can also help us stay healthy during this time of the year.

Making a few small changes can really make a difference.

Here are some l quick tips to make your holidays a little bit healthier:

  • Try Healthier Dessert Options- Make baking healthier by including healthier ingredient alternatives. Try using zests or spices for more flavor instead of added sugars or salt. Reduce the fat content in recipes by using applesauce or Greek yogurt.
  • Eat Well Balanced Meals- Serve well-balanced meals which include dairy, grains, protein, vegetables, and fruit. Try to keep your eating balanced but still include those holiday favorites as well.
  • Savor the Holiday Foods- Holiday dishes only come during a limited time of the year but instead of overconsuming them, slowly enjoy your favorite dish and make sure to eat these in moderation.
  • Include Fun Holiday Activities to Get Moving- Get the family up and moving. Try an outdoor sport or turn on some tunes to get the dance party started.
  • Visit Texas A&M AgriLife Extension’s Dinner Tonight program- Dinner Tonight offers delicious and budget-friendly recipes that are great to include in your holiday meals. To check out some delicious recipes, visit
  • So, enjoy those traditional holiday foods and remember to get outside, stay active, and have a healthy and happy holiday season.

For more information on creating a healthy holiday, contact your Duval county extension agent at