6 Healthier Choices You Can Make at Family Gatherings

Kristine Ordas | May 27, 2021

Being healthier doesn’t mean you have to miss out on special events and family gatherings. Making small and sustainable changes in your life will help you live a healthier life while spending valuable time with your family. Here are 6 tips to help you make healthier choices at family gatherings.

1.     Add color to your plate

Adding color to your plate is an easy way to live healthier! Color refers to foods that are colorful, which are fruits and vegetables! When you look down at your plate, do you see any color?

If not, make sure to grab a serving of fruit (the size of your fist) and/or a serving of vegetables (5-8 florets of broccoli or half a bell pepper).

Adding color to your plate adds so many nutrients, like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These nutrients have many purposes, like providing energy, repairing and protecting our cells, and growth. Eat up!

2.     Water down sugary beverages

Men should aim to consume less than 9 teaspoons (36 grams) and women should aim to consume less than 6 teaspoons (25 grams) per day.

Did you know a bottle (20 fl oz.) of Coca-Cola has 65 grams of added sugar? Drinking one of these sodas means you would be drinking almost double the recommended amount of added sugar (for men)!

Although sugary beverages are okay to drink in moderation, watering them down will help you cut down on sugar. Added sugars are sugars that are not found naturally in food. On a food label, they will be listed as:

  • Ingredients ending in “ose,” such as maltose or sucrose
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Molasses
  • Cane sugar
  • Corn sweetener
  • Raw sugar
  • Syrup
  • Honey
  • Fruit juice concentrates

To help decrease the number of sugary beverages you drink, try watering soda down with seltzer!

3.     Choose leaner meats or avoid fatty parts of meat

Fattier meats like beef, pork, and lamb typically have high amounts of saturated fat. When at a family gathering, choose chicken or fish if available.

However, if chicken or fish is not available, avoid eating fatty pieces and limit the amount of meat you eat.

4.     Slow down and enjoy your food

Eating too quickly can lead to overeating! When you overeat, you’re eating more calories than what you need and can lead to unwanted weight gain.

When eating, try savoring every bite to ensure you’re taking your time to eat. You can also take smaller portions of food to avoid overeating because you can always go back for more.

5.     Have alcohol in moderation

Alcohol in moderation is a part of a healthy lifestyle! How much is “moderation” though?

Beer, wine, and liquor have different amounts of alcohol. One drink is a 12-ounce regular beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits, such as vodka or tequila. Adhering to these serving sizes may prevent the negative long-term effects of alcohol, like cancer, high blood pressure, and stroke.

6.     Get up and dance!

Dancing is a great way to be physically active at parties! Physical activity has many health benefits like reducing the risk of diabetes and heart disease, lowering blood pressure, and improving your mood.

At your next family gathering, don’t be shy and remember to dance with your loved ones!