3 tips for enjoying holiday meals

3 tips for enjoying holiday meals

The holidays are here! Here are our top 3 tips for enjoying your holiday meals:

1. Eat slow and savor your food

Holiday food is delicious! Why not slow down during the busiest time of the year and really savor it? Practice “mindful eating” by paying more attention to your food so you can be fully present for the eating experience. One way to do this is to use your other four senses, instead of just taste:

  • Sight: What colors are on your plate? What shapes do you see?
  • Touch: What texture does your food have? Is it crunchy? Soft? Hot? Cold?
  • Sound: Can you hear your fork as it dives into some sweet potatoes? What about a crispy crust crumbling?
  • Smell: What does your meal smell like? Does the smell remind you of a favorite meal from your childhood or a happy memory? Take a second to enjoy it.

2. Eat with loved ones

Another way to enjoy your holiday meals is with your friends and family. Eating with others can help you feel connected. This is important because nowadays people tend to be less engaged with one another than they were 30 years ago [1]. Luckily the holidays are one of the best times to share meals with loved ones.

One study showed that people who eat with others feel happier and are more satisfied with life [2]. They are more trusting of others and have more friends they can depend on for support. Laughter and storytelling can help people bond over meals.

side dish of vegetables

3. Cut down portion size– but not taste– to avoid feeling too stuffed

There are often more foods to choose from than usual during the holidays. Instead of one or two sides, there might be six! It makes sense that we might need to adjust our portion sizes, right?

Try taking smaller amounts of each food you’d like to eat when you make your plate. This way you can try all of the good food without getting uncomfortably full. Know that you can always go back for more if you’re still hungry.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy your holiday meals?


Written by Taylor Newman, Ph.D. Candidate | Edited by Laurel Sanville, MS, RDN, LD

[1] Psychology Today, 2019

[2] Dunbar, 2017

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