Happy. Healthy. Southie.

Supportive and non-judgmental advice from SBCHC's health experts.

Healthier Eating at Parties

By: Alyssa Principe

Parties, family gatherings and big celebrations are usually filled with family, friends, and of course a feast of our favorite foods.


Don’t let these derail your healthy eating habits. Follow these 6 tips to stay on track while still enjoying parties with people you love!

1. Did you know the average Thanksgiving meal is 4,500 calories! One way to ensure better portion control is to be mindful of your plate size. Research shows going from a 12-inch plate to an 8-inch plate can reduce calorie intake by up to 30%.

2. Add color to your plate. You can do this by filling ½ your plate with a variety of vegetables! Hint: mashed potatoes do NOT count.

3. Don’t skip meals! Often people will skip breakfast or lunch to ‘save room’ for the big meal. Undoubtedly this will lead to overeating and poor decisions. Instead, eat a sensible breakfast and lunch. You’ll want to arrive to the meal hungry, not starving!

4. Be choosy about your foods. If you’re looking forward to the main course, you don’t want to fill up on the appetizers. Think about which dishes are you favorites and which you can do without.

5. Savor your food! You may wait for some special dishes all year so eat slowly and enjoy the meal. This will help increase satisfaction as well as control portions. It takes time for the brain to realize you are full. Try waiting 20 minutes before you dig in for seconds. Chances are you won’t need them.

6. A string of fun parties with big meals do not mean it is time to start a restrictive diet. By being too restrictive in days surrounds special meals, you may feel deprived and more likely to overindulge. Instead, focus on portion control. A sensible goal is to maintain your weight all year long.

Interested in more healthy eating support? Join our Healthy Habits Support Group every other Wednesday from 5:30-6:30 or make an appointment to see the SBCHC nutritionist today!

Alyssa Principe

Alyssa Principe, MS, RD, LDN is a Registered Dietician at South Boston Community Health Center. She runs the free Healthy Habits Support Group and sees patients of all ages at the Health Center. She works with patients of all ages on a variety of goals, from healthy and weight issues, to picky eating. If you're interested in learning more stay tuned for her recipes and helpful tips or make an appointment to see her in clinic today!