EXTENSION CONNECTION: Put some health into the holidays

Published: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 04:22 PM.

Many of our holiday traditions and events involve food. Choices abound — whether it’s pumpkin pie, chocolate cookies or turkey — and it’s easy to get overwhelmed and forget your health.

In addition, we tend to be busier with friends, family and social activities. The result is less exercise and more time “eating on the run.” There is also an increase in foods rich in calories, fat, sugar and salt.

These combined factors can contribute to wider waists.

Researchers have found that the average holiday weight gain is 1-2 pounds, and people usually don't lose that weight, which adds up over the years.

Whether you celebrate Hanukah, Christmas or Kwanza, here are some ideas to incorporate into your holiday festivities:

•If you bake holiday treats, prepare enough for just one event or give leftovers away. Keeping extra goodies around is too tempting.

•Prepare a low or reduced-fat dish to take to holiday gatherings.

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