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Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 8, 2015
Contact:  Scott Salotto (845) 638-5645
                Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, DO, MPH, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512

YES ROCKLAND, THERE IS A "HEALTHIER HOLIDAY!"

NEW CITY, NY - - Happy Holidays from the Rockland County Department of Health!  Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert encourage residents to follow our tips for a healthier holiday season:

  • Ask friends and relatives to give gifts that promote physical activity and movement for your children.
  • After a meal, go for a walk with your family and friends to see holiday displays in your neighborhood.
  • Maintain your child's regular meal routine: breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack and dinner.  Children (and adults also) need balanced meals during the day.
  • Water is the best thirst quencher and will help fill you up. Always offer water as a beverage. Having a pitcher of water readily available is a sure way to help avoid sugar-sweetened drinks and sodas. 
  • Cut down on sweets! Provide healthier options such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds rather than high fat, sugary foods such as chips, cookies or candy.
  • Bake healthier!  Replace ¼ cup of the butter, oil or margarine in your favorite drop cookie and muffin recipes with the same amount of mashed banana, pumpkin or fig puree, or unsweetened applesauce.
  • Have healthy foods readily available and easily accessible. Sliced, ready-to-eat fresh fruit and vegetables are a sweet substitute for candy or high-fat snacks.
  • Try hummus, a protein rich, vegetarian friendly and Mediterranean trendy food - a favorite with many people. As a dip or a spread you cannot go wrong with hummus on your plate!
  • Salsa is usually paired with chips, however it can be used as a condiment for fish, chicken, meats and even grilled tofu.
  • Roasted vegetables are always a winner; if you have any leftover they can be tossed in a basic marina sauce the next night for a delicious dinner or added to omelets with a little cheese.
  • BYOD - Bring Your Own Dish - this way you can ensure there is at least one dish you won't have to resist!
  • Want to serve or bring a healthy, easy and elegant dessert? Try chocolate dipped strawberries!
  • If you are right handed eat with your left hand (reverse if you are left handed). It may take longer, but you will give time for the fullness signals to travel from your stomach to your brain.
  • Going out to eat with friends? Check the restaurant's menu ahead of time so you can make healthier choices. And remember, it's really more about time you spend together with friends than the food.
  • Have a Clementine!  It has almost half of your daily Vitamin C needs and only 50 calories! With all the people you will be around during the holidays, a boost of Vitamin C may be the perfect snack.
  • Wear fitted clothing to make you more conscious of how much you're putting in your mouth.
  • Skipping meals to splurge at the party may make you overeat or choose high calorie foods. Have a high protein snack before the party - try a handful of sunflower seeds or pistachios with a cup of low-fat yogurt.

"These tips are good to follow not only during the holiday season, but year-round as well," said Dr. Ruppert.  For more information visit choosemyplate.gov/ten-tips-make-healthier-holiday-choices