Healthy Eating Tips for this Holiday Season!

I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite holiday is Thanksgiving! I loved spending time with family and eating delicious food around a big table laughing and just enjoying each other’s company. I’ve had a lot of patients and their families ask recently how to manage all the holiday food and stay on track with their health goals. And of course, it depends on what your child’s goals are! So I have some tips for you that I hope will help!


  1. As the holiday breaks begin, try to maintain a regular eating schedule as much as possible to encourage healthy eating patterns and behaviors and help regulate everyone’s appetite.
  2. Provide fruits and vegetables with every meal. Have your child help pick out a fruit and/or vegetable they want to incorporate into a dish. It could be a fun activity to have them help you prepare the dish and share it with your family. If one of your child’s goals is to gain weight, you can add heavy cream, butter, dips, or oils to your child’s meal or plate for additional calories.
  3. Be a good food role model. When you have all the food groups on your plate at holiday events or parties it helps kids learn to accept new foods and dishes and choose a variety of foods as well. It can also help if your child sees other kids have a variety of foods on their plate and it may give them motivation to try a new food as well.
  4. Cook together! As a family, make a holiday recipe that includes multiple food groups. Some examples are a homemade soup which is perfect for a chilly day and a snack mix to share at a holiday party. For Thanksgiving this year, I brought green bean almondine to my family’s celebration which is very tasty and ensures we have a vegetable at the meal.
  5. Set some expectations ahead of time. Talk to your older child about candy portions. I recommend not limiting them on the day/night of the holiday. After, give your child a small Ziploc bag to let them keep the remaining pieces. This way, they can enjoy 1-2 pieces a day over the next one-two weeks.
  6. Holiday meals frequently end with delicious desserts. I recommend having a small portion of a few desserts, rather than a larger serving of multiple desserts. I do not recommend restricting, rather, moderately trying and enjoying a few desserts.


I wish everyone a wonderful holiday season!

Written by: Nicole Michehl, MS, RD, LD, CNSC, CLC