Do you enjoy spending your holidays at home? Personally, I do. There’s nothing I love more than re-connecting with my loved ones in the most comfortable place in the world… HOME! But if you’ve been away for a bit, you probably have a long list of stuff to do while you’re visiting. It’s easy to overindulge when you’re in your comfort zone, but health is wealth. If you want to keep on enjoying your holidays with family, then follow our tips for healthy home for the holidays choices!
Healthy Holiday Activities That You Can Enjoy At Home
Who said going home for the holidays is boring? There are so many fun activities you can do together with the whole gang! Check out the list below – it may not be comprehensive, but it should be a good starting point for anyone looking for exciting home for the holidays choices of activities! Let’s begin!
1. Practice portion control at the table
I feel you… portion control is hard enough on regular days, but on holidays, it’s a battle not too many people win. There are just too many tempting holiday dishes on the dining table. Even the aroma can make your knees go weak.
You’ll probably have family members urging you to throw your diet out the window. According to them, everyone’s supposed to be gluttons on holidays! Of course, you can indulge a bit but not too much, especially if you’re keen on living a healthy lifestyle.
Fortunately, portion control doesn’t mean depriving yourself of your favorite holiday treats. To help you eat less, use a smaller plate. You can also load up on fiber-rich veggies first to help you feel full faster. Also, chew your food slowly and take the time to appreciate the different flavors tickling your palate. This will trick your brain into thinking you’re full!
2. Get creative with your holiday leftovers
Cooking in excess is normal for the holidays. People are expected to binge and eat all the food on the table, though this rarely happens unless you belong to a family of competitive eaters!
So, at the end of the meal, there will likely be plenty of food left. In most cases, you can’t just throw all these away. I mean, wouldn’t you feel bad knowing there are millions of people starving at any given point in time? And here you are throwing leftovers away…
Now, one benefit of having leftovers is that you don’t need to worry about cooking from scratch the next day. You can simply reheat the food or repurpose it into something even more delicious!
For example, if you’ve got plenty of leftover turkey, you can shred it and use it to make turkey soup. Or you can mix it with fried rice or use it as a turkey sandwich filling! For even more creative leftover ideas, use an app like Supercook. Just enter whatever ingredient you have on hand and it will come up with interesting recipes for you!
3. Have meaningful conversations
Digital addiction is real. We spend an alarming number of hours every day staring at our phones. Here are some interesting statistics published by RescueTime, an app that monitors mobile use:
- Average time spent on phone – 3 hours and 15 minutes
- Top 20% of smartphone users – more than 4.5 hours on their phone!
- Number of times people check their phones throughout the day – 58 times
I know this may sound difficult, but try asking everyone to put their phones down, at least for the duration of the meal. Gently remind everyone why you’re gathered around the table.
Fun, meaningful conversations will help tighten your family’s bond. Get to know each other better – the holidays are the perfect time to do this. You can even start planning future holidays together. Ask everyone where they’d like to go next year – you might get a bunch of interesting answers!
4. Learn a new hobby or skill
Now that you’ve got a few days off, you can start picking up a new hobby. It doesn’t need to be expensive. For instance, you can try your hand at gardening, you can practice your musical skills, or you can solve puzzles.
You can also use the extra time to start working on a new skill. Instead of binge-watching Netflix, sign up for courses online. For example, if you’re interested in digital marketing, you can sign up for relevant courses on sites like Udemy, Coursera, and more.
Alternatively, if you’re thinking of sharing your knowledge with loved ones, now’s the time to do so. Of course, don’t expect any payment while you’re at it… Just have fun and enjoy the experience!
5. Try your hand at healthy cooking (my favorite home for the holidays choice!)
I know ordering takeout is so much more convenient than cooking up a holiday feast. But takeout is more expensive than cooking at home (businesses do need to make money, you know). You also don’t know what kind of ingredients go into the food you order.
If you’re watching your calories and counting your macros, it’s better to cook from scratch. You know exactly what goes into your food and you save a lot of money, too!
If you’re not much of a cook and need help cooking up healthy recipes, don’t worry, there are plenty of resources online. For low carb or keto-friendly dishes, check out our free recipes here.
6. Decorate the house
Want to get everyone in a festive, holiday mood? Decorate the house! Whether it’s Christmas or Halloween or some other holiday important to your family, think of something to deck your halls with. It doesn’t have to be glittery and expensive – a simple décor is enough.
The trick is not to do it all by yourself. Get everybody involved – from the young kids to the elderly grandparents – give everyone something to do. This is a fun activity that the whole family will surely enjoy!
7. Get out and about!
Spending the holidays at home doesn’t mean being cooped up inside 24/7. If weather permits, get some fresh air by taking the dog out for a walk. Or go on a hike with the entire family.
There are so many things you can do outside – alone or with your family. Take advantage while you’re home for the holidays and visit friends you haven’t seen in ages. Say hi to familiar faces in the neighborhood and catch up for a bit.
If the weather turns bad, don’t take that as a sign to spend the whole day sleeping. Household chores never end! Help around the house, don’t let your poor mom do all the hard work. Help with the laundry or cook something new (see tip #5). Volunteer to wash the dishes or trim the lawn.
8. Play games after dinner
Chess, checkers, scrabble, monopoly – there’s a long list of board games you can play after dinner. Charades and word games are also a classic favorite, there are so many fun games you can do together! But you know your family best, so think of something everyone will enjoy.
If you’ve got some modern toys, you can challenge someone to play on the Xbox or the Wii. Don’t leave anybody out. Teach your non-techy parents how to play and maybe let them win a round or two!
9. Enjoy a movie marathon
Some days are meant to be enjoyed in front of the television, especially if it’s too cold or it’s raining cats and dogs outside. Get a streaming service subscription to Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime Video. It’s not too expensive and you’ve got plenty of choices when it comes to genres and types of shows to watch.
The only downside is that these on-demand streaming services require a speedy Internet connection. If that’s not available in your area, just download the shows on your must-watch list beforehand!
As for snacks, prepare something healthy. I know it’s tempting to settle for comfort foods like popcorn, pizza, and chips, but we all know they’re not the healthiest. Instead, try making crispy kale chips, homemade potato chips, cucumber hummus bites, carrot sticks, stuffed bell peppers, and more!
What are your favorite home for the holidays choices?
Cooking is like a superpower for me, so my favorite home for the holidays choices are #2 and #5. What about you (let us know in the comments below)?
Just know that whatever you end up doing when you do go home for the holidays, it’s all the special memories you’re making that matters in the end. We only have so much time left in this world. Spend it with the people you love the most!