Whether it’s sitting around the family dinner table or munching on endless snacks at a party, the holidays mean food. Lots of food. Even though we all indulge in that decadent dessert or the delicious casserole, here are a few tips to try to keep the holidays, and the new year, as healthy as we can (with some splurges here and there)!

Shop smart. Grocery stores can be traps, both intentionally and unintentionally. Try shopping during off-hours. Instead of rushing around and grabbing the first things you see to get out of the crowd, you can take your time to read labels and choose healthier foods. Also, try to pick items from the outside perimeter of the store. This is where the whole, more nutritious foods are located.

Focus on produce. Whether you’re making appetizers or a full meal, amp up the fruits and veggies in your meals. Cook them in ways that celebrate their natural flavors instead of hiding them under heavy sauces or glazes.

Lighten up your recipes. Reduce fat and calories without missing out on taste by making some of these substitutions:

  • Replace 1 egg with 2 egg whites to cut cholesterol.
  • Instead of oil, margarine, or butter in baked items, substitute applesauce to reduce fat.
  • Always use fat-free versions of creamy ingredients such as yogurt, sour cream, or whipped topping.
  • Use reduced-fat cheeses in casseroles and salads.

After the holidays, many of us will turn to New Year’s resolutions as we ring in 2020. In 2018, nearly 50% of American New Year’s resolutions involved getting in shape and losing weight. At TFA, the health of our students is a priority. Our lunch program offers a variety of features daily for our TK through 12th-grade students to keep them healthy and energized. Parents and students don’t have to sacrifice health for convenience, as several of our weekly lunch menu options feature a variety of choices for students beyond the classic chicken sandwich. From gluten-free to grilled, from salads to smoothies, the menu offers favorites everyone will enjoy from local restaurants including Tropical Smoothie, Chick-fil-A, Tijuana Flats, Olive Garden, and more. No matter what your New Year’s resolution is, we invite you and your family to stay healthy in 2020 with TFA’s lunch program!

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*Healthy Eating Tips adapted from familydoctor.org