The Egg Nutrition Center partnered with Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD to write this blog post.
The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year but can also feel busy and stressful. And while this year might look a little different, we can all still look for ways to enjoy the season and take some time for a bit of self-care, too. When talking with patients or clients, encouraging a positive approach that focuses on balance can make a big difference. Here are some simple tips to eat well throughout the holiday season.
Start with a balanced breakfast
Research suggests that eating breakfast helps reduce daily hunger, so “breaking the fast” with a morning meal can lower chances of overeating later in the day. A balanced breakfast includes a protein source, like eggs, to help keep hunger at bay. Here are some of our favorite simple breakfast recipes:
- Whether using a bagel, English muffin, or whole grain bread, an egg sandwich offers the opportunity to include a variety of tasty trimmings like tomato slices and avocado, like in this Everything Bagel Sandwich with Egg.
- Pile whatever vegetables you have on hand into an omelet, like in this Greek Vegetable Omelet.
- These Pea Fritters can be made ahead of time and reheated for a quick breakfast. Don’t forget to #putaneggonit!
Add foods, rather than take away
It’s common to think about healthy eating in terms of “forbidden” foods, but that way of thinking can be discouraging and can cause clients to give up on making positive behavior changes. Rather than omitting foods, encourage clients to add nutritious options like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and eggs. Shifting one’s mindset to think about increasing nutrient-dense options at mealtime helps decrease feelings of guilt about food.
Snack on protein
The end of year hustle and bustle often means skipped snacks and forgotten meals which leads to energy crashes and all-around crankiness – definitely not in line with the holiday spirit! Encourage clients to have easy-to-make and/or easy-to-grab snacks on hand so it’s easier to enjoy a bite when time is tight. Snacks that include a balance of healthy fats, filling fiber, and satiating protein will help clients stay fuller longer. Here are some nutritious snack options that include eggs:
- Meal prepping hard-boiled eggs offers a simple snack option, but can also be incorporated into meals or combined with other nutritious options like these Egg Pita Snackers or Veggie Egg Pops.
- Egg bites are a perfect meal prep option that can be stored in the refrigerator for about 3 days (or frozen for up to 1 month). Simply reheat and eat! Try these Caprese Egg Muffins or Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Bites.
- These Mini Breakfast Pizzas can be whipped up in a flash using a toaster oven, or take advantage of the microwave and try this Microwave Egg & Veggie Breakfast Bowl or Microwave Mexican Omelet.
It’s okay (and encouraged) to eat dessert over the holidays! Eggnogg, sugar cookies, and other seasonal favorites are often part of holiday traditions and there’s no need to discourage foods that bring joy. Encourage clients to practice moderation and savor each bite without any guilt! Here are some delicious desserts to try:
- Bananas Foster Cream Cheese Pie
- Chocolate Pot de Crème
- Saint Nick’s Eggnog (and Chocolate Eggnog Martini for the adults!)
Bottom line: encourage clients to take time for self-care this holiday season – whether that means enjoying nutritious snacks and meals or finding joy in the things that make the season special (ideally both!)