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Family, easter meal

Whether it’s a leg of lamb with mint jelly, thick slices of baked ham or a basket full of chocolate bunnies and jellybeans, the traditional holiday favorites play a starring role in many Easter celebrations.

It can be easy to ignore your health goals when you’re looking at a table full of your favorite foods. But, with a bit of planning, you can enjoy a healthy Easter Sunday without feeling like you're missing out.

Here are six tips from the National Institutes of Health to help you avoid temptation.


Tip 1: Don’t Skip Breakfast

Eat a nutritious breakfast to start your day right and ward off overeating later during your Easter festivities. Include plenty of whole grains and lean protein to keep you feeling full longer.


Tip 2: Practice Moderation

It’s ok to eat your favorite foods. Even the less-healthy options. Eat the foods you love, just eat them in moderation and don’t make them the focus of your meal. Choose the foods that are unique to your Easter celebrations or those that top your list of favorite dishes and make your splurge count.


Tip 3: Eat Mindfully

Slow down and enjoy your meal. Taste each bite and savor the experience. Eating more slowly gives your brain the time it needs to determine when you’re full. And it can keep you from overeating when you’re sitting around a table piled high with food.


Tip 4: Watch Your Portions

Don’t pile up your plate and eat until you feel you might burst. Use a smaller plate and limit the times you return to the buffet table. When you manage your portion control you avoid overloading your digestive system. You’ll also avoid the stomach cramps, indigestion and discomfort that often accompany overeating.


Tip 5: Focus on Fun

Although Easter dinner is often the high point of your holiday festivities, taking the focus off the food and putting it on other activities can help you stick to a healthy eating plan. Plan an Easter egg hunt to get everyone up and moving. Or take a walk around the neighborhood between the main meal and dessert. Food isn’t the only way to enjoy the holiday.


Tip 6: Adopt a Flexible Mindset

It’s easy to develop an either-or attitude when it comes to healthy eating—especially during special celebrations or holidays. If you fall off the dietary wagon over Easter, it doesn’t mean you’ll never make better food choices. And it's not an excuse to give up on your healthy eating goals altogether. Give yourself a break and try again another day.

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