Can the way you shape your family’s Christmas traditions help your kids to avoid those adult diet pitfalls? Our favourite guest foodie, Guilherme Zo’C, thinks so — and he makes a compelling point about the role of food in our holiday memories. ~ Jen

Start a Healthy New Holiday Tradition

Guilherme Zühlke O’Connor How your Christmas celebrations can help your children to succeed with their New Year’s resolutions

Christmas is upon us and at this time of the year we are often full of the fondest memories of childhood, of simpler times, of delicious Christmas feasts, of a time where, for most people there was no concern about the weight. But also these days, in some cultures, it is time to see that another year has passed and maybe it’s time to include, once again, lose weight into the New Year’s resolutions list.

I have seen, time and again, people who are on some kind of weight control make a break during Christmas celebrations because, in theory, it is too hard not to abuse of food on Christmas. Christmas is this time of the year when all should seem magical and effortless but requires us a lot of effort to do it so.

Going through Christmas without food abuse seems a complete betrayal of our childhood memories, and we must sacrifice something to honor them. After all, this kind of memories help us to hang on when difficult times arise along the year and they deserve to be as special as they can.

The taste of food is strongly cultural, you learn to like food as you grow. That is clearly visible when you see how cuisines can be easily classified by geographical criteria, and how the taste of a culture is often linked to products available in the region: naturals as well as industrialized.

The very fact that Christmas food remains the same year after year is proof of that. There is no reason why some food is better on a certain day of the year, other than a cultural one.

Now, what if our fondest Christmas memories were linked to healthy food and healthy habits in healthy amounts? Probably it would be those habits that would help us overcome the difficulties along the year, and maybe we would reach New Year’s Eve without having weight-loss as a challenge for the following year.

Even if it seems impossible to change old habits and seems that is too late for us, the old ones, it is just the perfect time for those who are children today and will have healthier memories in their future. And because food taste is strongly cultural, there is no reason why a healthy Christmas feast can’t be delicious.

Guilherme is a Web Designer and works freelance in northern Italy.

His past work life includes also developing software prototypes for Sony Ericsson mobiles, teaching Photoshop, compiler design and photography.

He is happily married to Anna, and in his free time he enjoys cinema, traveling, cooking and eating.

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