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Creating Holiday Food Memories

With Thanksgiving just two days away, I’d like to talk about all of the positive
associations of food and family that we don’t often hear about. Food has now become “the enemy” – it’s loaded with calories fat, sugar, and salt – and in such large portions!

When it comes to the holidays, it’s important to be a mindful eater, but also allow yourself to be a “smart splurger” with some of your family’s favorite indulgences.

Many families have traditional favorites for Thanksgiving, and this can be wonderfully comforting, bringing back years of happy memories. It’s such a warm feeling to know that generations of your family have enjoyed these same dishes; it’s a nice way to include food as part of your family traditions.

For some people, the beloved dishes are modified for healthier eating, and the essence remains the same. But many people resist changing, or updating, holiday recipes. The positive food memories are so strong that it’s a treat to eat, not just for the taste, but for the good feelings that come with the old favorite. You might have seen this scenario at your own holiday meals, when someone decides to experiment with a new dish, and people are outraged. “What happened to Aunt Helen’s bread stuffing? We don’t want jalapeno cornbread stuffing from Cooking Light Magazine!” Sound familiar?

If you don’t have some favorite holiday foods, I’d suggest creating some new, perhaps healthier, food traditions for your friends and family. Creating your own “food memories” for your loved ones can certainly enhance the enjoyment of your holiday gatherings!

Have a Healthy and Happy Thanksgiving!