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Portion Control Tips for a Healthier Holiday

portion control tips

We all know how easy it is to overindulge during the holiday season. There are plenty of office parties and family gatherings to attend and so it’s important to make sure you are making the most healthy decisions that you can in order to make sure you don’t get to January and wonder what happened. To help out, we are sharing a few simple portion control tips to make it easier during these fun events.

First, here are portion control tips for a healthier holiday:

Tip 1: Eat Breakfast

It sounds simple, but eating a healthy breakfast is a great way to start off your day before heading to a holiday party or eating a holiday meal. You won’t be starving by the time the party starts. “Saving up” for a big meal usually leads to overeating!

Tip 2: Savor the Meal

Eat slowly! Holiday meals are times when we tend to indulge in more than one helping. Rather than going for seconds or thirds, eat slowly and leave the table feeling comfortable.

Tip 3: Check the label

Portion size differs from serving size. For example, a snack size bag of pretzels may contain up to 4 servings, so you’d need to quadruple the nutrition information on the label to see how much you are eating! Especially around the holidays when travel is more frequent, be sure to check the labels on prepackaged snack foods to avoid overeating.

Next, watch as the Pirates of the Carrot and Bean teach kids about healthy portions:



Now, make sure and download this fun activity sheet kids:


Here’s to keeping the portions small over the holidays!

10 Ways to Beat Holiday Party Temptations

holiday party temptations

It’s that time of year where holiday parties seem to be everywhere. There’s the office holiday party, the kids’ holiday parties, the friends’ holiday party, and everything in between. While the parties are a wonderful time to celebrate with friends, family, and coworkers, they can be an absolute nightmare as you look to continue your healthy eating goals throughout the end of the year and into 2016. However, if you stick to the tips below, holiday parties can be another way to meet your healthy eating goals and leave you with tons of energy for the entire holiday season.  

  1. It’s OKAY to eat “bad” food – Why? Because there is no such thing as bad food and I guarantee, if you say absolutely no to “bad” food, at some point, you’re going to give in and gorge on said bad food until your belly is ready to pop. The solution is to eat the “bad” food in moderation and only eat those foods that you really like. If you don’t like apple pie, pass it up but make sure to have a very small portion of your favorite pumpkin pie, and savor every. single, bite.
  2. Load up on fruits and veggies – Parties provide the perfect opportunity to fill up on fresh fruits and veggies that can be difficult to keep stocked in your own home. Most parties aren’t complete without a fruit and/or vegetable tray so scope it out, fill up half or more of your plate from the fruit and/or veggie tray, and enjoy! A friendly reminder, use the dip sparingly, they tend to be loaded with calories and fat.
  3. Use a smaller plate – Find the dessert plates and use one as your main plate. A smaller plate will result in smaller portions.
  4. Say no to seconds – Dish out what you think is an appropriate amount for you to eat at the party then stick to that. Period.
  5. Hang out away from the food – If you can see and smell the food, you’ll eat more. Find a spot outside of the kitchen and away from the serving areas to call yours for the evening.
  6. Keep a drink in your hand – It’s difficult to balance a drink and plate while attempting to eat. If you keep a drink in your hand, you’re less likely to pick up random appetizers and food.
  7. Think your drink – Egg nog and other holiday beverages can be filled with more calories than your favorite dessert. Stick to the low calorie or calorie-free options.
  8. Eat a small meal before you go – If you go to a party starving, you’ll probably ignore all of these tips and head for the first item you see. Eat a small meal before you go and then pick a few things to snack on during the party.
  9. Bring a healthy dish – If you want to ensure there is a healthy item that you will enjoy, offer to bring it. Your host(ess) will love you!
  10. Don’t forget physical activity – How about standing instead of sitting during these parties? Walk around, make new friends. For family-friendly parties, start a game with kids and adults that is physical activity focused. Party at your neighbors? Try walking there instead of driving.

I hope these tips help you as you look to make it through the holiday party season. Remember, it’s okay to splurge every now and again as long as you can quickly get back on track. This time of year is about enjoying our family and friends and sometimes that means eating some of your favorite foods as well!

Happy Holidays!
MGriffin headshot

Today we feature OWG guest blogger and childhood obesity consultant, Melodie Griffin. Melodie’s passion lies in the prevention of childhood obesity through the school and early learning settings. All programs Melodie promotes are fully approved by her home based lab rats, five year old son, Howie, and two year old daughter, Hope. You can connect with Melodie on her Facebook page, WellConnect LLC.


Happy Thanksgiving

Hardy Happy ThanksgivingLeading up to this holiday, we have talked a lot about being grateful and being thankful. Enjoy time spent with family, friends and all your loved ones! Don’t forget to choose healthy options when making your plate. It’s also important to get a little exercise in today, even if it’s just a quick walk around the block. Have a happy Thanksgiving!

To ensure a happy Thanksgiving for all, if you’re looking for just a little something to entertain the kids while the turkey is cooking, download the festive coloring page and activity sheet for today: 



Entertain the kids while the turkey is cooking! #Free #Thanksgiving coloring page and activity sheet! #HappyThanksgiving Click To Tweet


Healthy Halloween Ideas

Halloween is always a favorite time for kids. Between the costumes and candy (sigh) that come with the spooky holiday, there is an excitement that comes out in kids this time of year. In the past, we have shared some fun ways to make Halloween more of a healthy holiday.

Here are some of our favorite healthy Halloween ideas:

Candy Donation – We are all about a good cause; especially if it means less candy for kids! Operation Gratitude sends the candy surplus to military men and women overseas. This is a favorite idea that we recommend each year!

OrganWise Pumpkin Carving Templates – Download and print images of your favorite OrganWise Guys and pin them on your pumpkin to carve. Having an OrganWise pumpkin could be a great reminder for kids to make healthier choices when it comes to their candy rations. Once you are done carving, cook up those yummy pumpkin seeds and enjoy!

Hardy pumpkin carving


OrganWise Costumes – It’s always fun to see the original and innovative costumes that come about during Halloween, but nothing makes us more giddy than seeing people dressed up as The OrganWise Guys! Over the years, we’ve received pictures from some of our fabulous educators who take creativity to the next level by dressing up as The OrganWise Guys. Check out the unique ways the organs have been brought to life and make your costume an OrganWise one!

OrganWise Gal Costume


Healthy Halloween Yogurt – Surrounded by candy this time of year? Instead of the candy overload, try making this alternative and healthier treat that includes pumpkin and Greek yogurt. Your kids will even like it, too! Yum!

pumpkin dessert copy

If you are loving the pumpkin flavor this fall season, try having this pumpkin yogurt dip with some apple slices. It really makes for some great seasonal tastes!

What are your favorite ways to make Halloween a healthy one?


Fall Activities for the Whole Family

Fall Activities for the Whole Family

Once fall rolls around, time seems to quickly accelerate towards the holidays. Before one can even pick out a Halloween costume the stores and television ads are already geared toward holiday shopping. With the craziness of the holiday season about to ensue, it’s important to prioritize quality time with friends and family so you can appreciate all the fall offerings. Whether it’s the cooler weather or the pumpkin lattes that excite you, take it in and enjoy before the holiday chaos begins.

Here are 8 fall activities that you can do with your friends and family:

  • Watch seasonal sporting events – Whether it be soccer, hockey, or your local high school or collegiate football team, grab your scarves and blankets to cozy up together on the bleachers.
  • Attend local Fall festivals – These are typically very family-friendly packed with plenty of food, games, prizes, and fun to be had by all.
  • Go to a haunted house – Even if you have some scaredy cats, this can be a good bonding experience!
  • Visit a pumpkin patch – Let the kids select their favorite pumpkins, carve them (adults, we are talking to you) in front of the cozy fireplace and cook those yummy pumpkin seeds. You can even change it up and have the kids paint the pumpkins or decorate them with some sparkly glitter.
  • Collect colorful leaves – Rake leaves into piles and let the kids jump in them. They can also help out with the raking as that definitely counts as physical activity! Let them select some of their favorite leaves and use them later for a fall craft. (Try Pinterest for crafty ideas.)
  • Make festive treats – Stir up some hot apple cider while making a tasty (and yes it can be healthy, too!) pumpkin or apple dessert, such as these simple apple pie wraps. Make sure to let the kids help with the food prep.
  • Family movie night – Fix some healthy snacks (this OrganWise-ified popcorn is a good one!) and gather around the couch for a scary movie marathon.
  • Sign up for a race – Pick a fun local event and the entire family can participate. They typically have a fun run/walk for the kids in addition to the actual race. Get some family exercise while supporting a good cause!

To make sure you are able to take part in these fun activities, try making a list like the one above and hang it in a central location. You will be much more likely to actually do some of these things and the kids love being able to cross off an event or task once completed. It’s easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day grind that it’s nice to have a reminder to stray a bit and engage in some fun, but not typical activities. So, jump into fall and plan your list of festivities now before the next round of holidays sneaks up on us!