Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

December 13, 2016
Contact: Jane Lerner, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
              Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, DO, MPH, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512


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

  • Get moving! Ask your friends and relatives to give gifts to your children that promote physical activity and movement. Dress warmly and go for a walk with your family and friends; check out the holiday displays in your neighborhood.
  • Maintain your regular meal routine: breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack and dinner. Children and adults need balanced meals during the day.
  • Offer water; it's the best thirst quencher and will help fill you up. Having a pitcher of water readily available is a sure way to help avoid sugar-sweetened drinks and sodas that can pack on empty calories.
  • Cut down on sweets! Keep healthier options such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds on-hand as your go-to snacks rather than high fat, sugary foods such as chips, cookies or candy. Buy sliced, ready-to-eat fresh fruit and vegetables (or prepare them yourself).
  • Bake healthier! Replace ¼ cup of the butter, oil or margarine in your favorite cookie and muffin recipes with the same amount of mashed banana, pumpkin or fig puree, or unsweetened applesauce.
  • Keep healthy foods where you can see them in the refrigerator and pantry.
  • Dip into the Mediterranean diet: try hummus or Greek yogurt dip!
  • Give ketchup a break! Try salsa as a condiment for fish, chicken, meats, and even grilled tofu.
  • Toss leftover roasted vegetables in a basic marinara sauce for a delicious dinner or add to omelets with a little cheese.
  • BYOD - Bring Your Own Dish - this way you can ensure there is at least one dish at the party you won't have to resist!
  • Dip strawberries in melted dark chocolate for a healthy, easy and elegant dessert!
  • Eat with your non-dominant hand: if you're right-handed eat with your left hand (reverse if you are left- handed). It may take longer, but this time allows the fullness signals to travel from your stomach to your brain.
  • Eating out? Check the menu ahead of time so you can make healthier choices. And remember, it's more about the 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.
  • Thinking about skipping a meal to splurge at the party? Think again! It may make you overeat or choose high calorie foods. Instead, plan to have a high protein snack before the party - try a handful of sunflower seeds or pistachios with a cup of low-fat yogurt.
  • Spice up your spice rack! Herbs and spices lose their strength and aroma so check the date on the container and keep them in a cool, dry place away from your stove with their lids securely fastened so that they stay fresh as long as possible.
  • Try meat dishes prepared or served with a light gravy made from the juices given off by the meat as it cooks instead of high-fat gravy.
  • Check the CDC's Guide to a Food Safe Holiday - 'tis the season to be jolly...and free of foodborne illness!

"These tips are good to follow not only during the holiday season, but year-round as well," said Dr. Ruppert.

For more information visit Visit for the Holiday Healthy Eating Guide from the American Heart Association.