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Get the Jump on a Healthier New Year

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If there’s one thing as regular as New Year’s Eve, it’s the promotion of New Year’s resolutions. For us in the supermarket industry, that means eating right, exercising more and shopping smarter.

new_party.jpgGetting the jump on the messages makes great sense, especially when you consider that the next few weeks may do more damage to our calorie counts than a few weeks of eating healthy can fix. Messages that are simple, consistent and universal are key. Here are some ideas to help jumpstart the New Year’s resolutions that we dietitians usually see from our customers:

• Give a gift of some health and beauty items that support an earth-friendly approach and can even help with stress reduction. Bath salts, soaps and candles with some snack items for quality nutrition and ready energy are good starters.

• Promote some lower-fat and healthier options to go along with the traditional foods that are on the party circuit. Lower-fat cheeses, whole grain crackers and, of course, fruits and veggies will be appreciated by those who want a choice without appearing to be Scrooge!

• Feature beverage options that offer lower calories and stretch the alcohol to a safer and more healthful level. Soda water for wine spritzers to nurse along the moderation message for alcohol, lower-calorie flavored waters and drink mixes may be overlooked on the hurried shopping list. Recipes for drinks will be appreciated along with some taste-testing!

• Respect the traditions of your customers but help them with some ideas that can “tweak” their holiday meals. Suggest starting with a light soup or salad to slow down the meal and fill up the guest before they dive in to the main courses and desserts. Provide some options for lowering the salt, fat or calories without giving up the traditional foods that are expected. In our market area, sauerkraut and pork is the good luck dish for the New Year. So why not suggest leaner cuts of pork to lower the fat and rinsing the sauerkraut to remove a bit of the salt?

• Feature some lower-fat, vegetarian or meatless recipes that can be interspersed with the holiday foods to begin a new tradition at the holiday meal table.

• Suggest some ways to really get the jump on the New Year with activity rather than sitting around after a great feast. Family walks or putting on some music and dancing are ageless and easy ways to get moving. And once again it can start a new tradition!

[Photo credit: callme crochet /Penny]

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