As the days grow shorter, and temperatures drop, it’s natural to crave heartier, comfort foods during
the colder months. While enjoying seasonal delights is part of the joy of winter, it’s essential to strike
a balance between indulgence and nourishment. Here, we’ll explore strategies for creating and
maintaining healthy eating habits to keep you feeling your best throughout the cold season.
1. Embrace Seasonal Produce:
Winter offers an array of nutritious, seasonal produce such as sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts,
winter squash, and citrus fruits. These ingredients are not only packed with vitamins and minerals but
also add variety to your diet. Incorporate them into soups, stews, and roasted vegetable dishes.
2. Prioritize Warm and Nutrient-Dense Meals:
Cold weather often brings cravings for hearty, warm dishes. Opt for nutrient-dense meals like
vegetable-rich soups, stews and chilis. These options can be made ahead in big batches, allowing you
to freeze portions for easy options that provide comfort and sustenance to nourish body and soul.
3. Embrace Warm Beverages:
During the colder months, it’s easy to forget about staying hydrated. However, proper hydration is
essential for overall health, and can also help you control your appetite and curb unnecessary
snacking. While the occasional hot chocolate has its place in everyone’s heart, make herbal teas,
broths, and even hot water with lemon your go-to choices for a sip of comfort and hydration.
4. Make Healthy Swaps:
Hearty foods don’t have to be hard on your health. Enjoy more nutritious comfort foods with healthy
swaps, like switching out creamy mashed potatoes for roasted cauliflower or spicy sweet potatoes.
Try whole-grain or legume-based versions of your favorite pasta dishes and use leaner cuts of meat
or plant-based proteins in stews and casseroles.
5. Supplement Wisely:
During the winter months, some individuals may benefit from supplements for optimal health, like
taking vitamin D due to the reduced sunlight exposure. Consult a Registered Dietitian to determine
what’s best for your specific needs.
6. Keep Stress in Check:
The colder months can bring added stress between colds and flus, the holiday season, and the short,
darker days. Maintain healthy habits like getting enough sleep and physical activity, and practicing
stress-management techniques, such as meditation. Since fatigue and stress can lead us to self-soothe with food, keeping stress in check will help you maintain your overall wellbeing, as well as a healthy relationship with food.
In the cold months ahead, making healthy eating a part of your routine will help you feel your best and avoid unwanted winter weight gain. By embracing a nutrient dense diet and practicing mindful indulgence, you can nourish your body and enjoy the pleasures of winter in a balanced way. For personalized nutrition support to help you achieve your health goals this winter, talk to a NDC Nutrition at Work Registered Dietitian.