Local Dietitian Offers Healthy Holiday Eating Tips

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'Tis the season for holiday gatherings, inspiring dietitians to advise consumers on how to keep track of their daily intake.

The holiday season is known for a series of unhealthy pitfalls.

Between the hustle of purchasing last-minute gifts and planning festivities, along with so many Christmas cookies in plain sight, dietitian Gillian Kelly says it’s easy to become a victim of overindulging on high-caloric foods.

“The holidays are just so busy that we don’t plan as well as we might for the rest of the year," says Kelly. "And sometimes ... we don’t make as good health choices, if we didn’t think ahead of what we were gonna pack for lunch or for a snack that day.”

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Kelly says another common pitfall is not following through with your meals, leading to weight gain — if skipping meals becomes a recurring pattern.

“I also think that it’s pretty common for people to just kind of stock up all their calories for that party or for that big family dinner instead of just ... eating normal throughout the day," says Kelly. "And then they kinda ... over do it more than they would have if they just kind of ate normally.” 

If you are watching your waistline this holiday season, dietitians highly recommend consumers to opt for salads and other veggies instead of pastas and breads that contain high carbs.

“My recommendation is having your plate half fruits and vegetables and trying to keep your meat to about a quarter of your plate," says Kelly. "In terms of meat, we would want to choose lean meats, turkey, chicken without the skin, and loin cuts, things like that, lean ground beef. But beans are also a good source of protein and I think they can be used really easily in chilis [and] soups.” 

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Kelly also says it’s also OK to indulge on holiday treats, but all in moderation.

“I think [they should eat] normal meals so that they’re nice and energized throughout the holidays and they don’t feel the need to overdo it on some of their holiday treats,” says Kelly.

There are a variety of health and wellness services offered at a ShopRite near you to keep your nutrition goals in check and prepare you for your upcoming New Year's resolutions.

To learn more, visit shoprite.com/dietitian.


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