Understand Candy Portions
Most people in the U.S. enjoy chocolate and candy 2-3 times per week, averaging about 40 calories per day and about one teaspoon of added sugar per day from confectionery items. During the holidays, look for your favorite treats in package sizes of 200 calories or less.
Make a Plan
During the holidays, there will be treats at many events. Think about when and how you want to treat yourself, so you are not faced with making on-the-spot decisions. You can also prepare for holiday events by choosing a lighter lunch or incorporating a brisk walk into your day.
Focus on Favorites
Whether it’s your favorite candy cane or chocolate truffles, everyone has a few favorite holiday treats. Enjoy these special treats and skip the rest or swap them for lower-calorie alternatives.
Celebrate with Candy in Different Ways
It’s exciting to enjoy treats during the holidays, but remember that there are many ways to enjoy chocolate and candy. Decorating gingerbread houses, playing dreidel, hanging candy canes on the tree, discovering sweets in an Advent calendar or baking with some of your favorite chocolates and candies are fun ways to include treats in your celebrations.
Model Good Behavior
Parents often use holidays as an opportunity to talk to their children about the importance of balance. Talk to your children about how to enjoy treats as a fun and unique part of a happy, balanced lifestyle.
Mint – it’s the Flavor of the Season
Mints and sugar-free gum are great options as you enjoy the flavor of the season. These little treats typically contain only 5-10 calories each, and might help you curb your desire to sample an additional appetizer or glass of wine!
Don’t Forget the Chocolate
While chocolate and cocoa products are some of the tastiest holiday treats, they may also play a special role in the diet. Some types of dark chocolate and cocoa contain antioxidants called flavanols, which studies suggest may promote heart health.
Stay Active with Fun Winter Activities
Be sure to maintain your exercise routine around the holidays. Outdoor activities, like ice skating, skiing and sledding, are easy ways to incorporate exercise into your holiday plans.
Savor the Flavor
Slowing down and mindfully consuming chocolate and candy can help maximize enjoyment and reduce mindless overeating. This holiday season, try to focus on the textures and unique flavors of confectionery to help enhance your enjoyment of treats.
Don’t Prohibit Treats
Recent research suggests that restriction may increase your child’s desire for treats. The same goes for you! Overly emphasizing restriction of treats may also lead to overindulgence in adults, so look for smaller package sizes and front-of-pack calorie labels to help you make informed choices about how you treat during the holiday season.