Healthy Eating for Holidays

Photo from CSU Stanislaus Events Page

With the holidays approaching, many students may have their eyes set on the upcoming gatherings, celebrations, and time with friends and family. While this can be an exciting time of the year for many students, the Health Education and Promotion Office at Stanislaus State provided plenty of information to ensure that it is both exciting and nutritious.

The Healthy Tips for the Holidays event was led on November 18 by Taylor Whitehead, Stan State health educator.

“Your culture and your identity are definitely important. So, when we're talking about healthy tips for the holidays, it's not about turning our backs on our traditions, cultural meals, or traditional family dishes.  it's just about how we can make these things a little bit healthier,” explained Whitehead.

In order to achieve healthier eating during the holidays, Whitehead strongly recommends students to utilize the resources available on choosemyplate.gov.

MyPlate

MyPlate provides users with information on how to maintain a healthy diet with balanced food choices. (Screenshot by Anthony Perkins)

The first resource discussed was the archive of recipes available to students on the site.

“As college students, you may not have a vast knowledge of cooking or recipes. you may have limited time or limited resources. MyPlate is very cognizant of that and lets you know that there are meals and recipes that are geared towards the college student base” Whitehead said.

MyPlate allows students to search for recipes while filtering through using a variety of criteria such as total cost of the meal, cooking equipment needed, and type of cuisine. In addition to many traditional recipes, MyPlate also has a limited number of video recipes for students who prefer a visual format as opposed to a written.

Another resource that is provided by MyPlate that Whitehead encouraged students to utilize is the information provided on the site about dietary guidelines. Some major points regarding the guidelines include the following.

  • Half of the plate on a given meal should consist of items from the fruit group or the vegetable group. A focus should be placed on whole fruits and creating variety in choice of vegetables.
  • It is important to implement variety when it comes to protein group.
  • Half of the items from the grain group should be whole grain.
  • When choosing items from the dairy group, fat-free and low-fat alternatives provide a healthier option.

“Healthy eating should not feel like a chore or a punishment. You should be nourishing your body with foods that you enjoy. We still want to enjoy the holidays. We still want to enjoy the family time and we definitely want to acknowledge our family’s cultural and traditional meal and dishes as well," explained Whitehead when discussing the importance of dietary choices.

While MyPlate offers helpful tools to students looking to address their dietary choices, it is not the only resource available to students. Other resources available to students include the following.

With many different resources available to students, the hope is for all students to have a happy holiday season without the stress of worrying about the challenges surrounding achieving a healthy diet.

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