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Does anything even come close to the sensory pleasure of seeing, smelling (and of course eating) a special holiday meal?
For some, the simple joy of eating is marred by too many ill – advised food rules and tips for managing our food intake over the holidays. Some “advice” is simply ridiculous……for example wearing tight-fitting clothing to a holiday meal so as to avoid the pain of over-indulgence. Other holiday food rules are well - meaning but useless, like the one about limiting ourselves to only three bites of a favorite holiday indulgence…..really? And then there are the rules which SEEM to make sense but in reality don’t work very well (like NOT eating anything before the special meal in an effort to cut out some calories, but then over-eating because we were starving by the time we ate).
This year try a whole new food rule: “LOSE the food rules”!
Instead of being hyper-focused on the special meal then feeling guilty about the extra spoonful of mashed potatoes and the slice of pie that was larger than planned, try a new approach:
Enjoy the meal……. Pause now and then to appreciate the smell of the food…….. Savor each bite……. Participate in conversation……… Do NOT feel guilty………Plan to eat until completely satisfied, knowing that left overs may be enjoyed again later when hunger returns.
Just for Parents:
Resist the urge to comment on the amount and type of food on your child’s plate. His or her health has EVERYTHING to do with day-to-day habits so try not to over-think this ONE meal.