The holiday season is a special time when we surround ourselves with those we love most. It can be the happiest—but unhealthiest!—time of the year. Try these tips, courtesy of the American Heart Association, to keep the holidays healthy for you and your family.

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How to Have a Healthy, Happy Holiday!-Infographic

American Heart Association

  • Make half your plate green. Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Navidad or New Year’s Eve, load your plate with veggies. You’ll leave less room for the less-healthy options like carbohydrates and sweets.
  • Throw a family dance party. Push the furniture to the wall and turn your living room into a dance floor! Get your familia moving, laughing and showing off their moves as they work up an appetite. Put a playlist together and ask for requests ahead of time.

  • Give a healthy gift. Are you the cool mami, the cool tía or the cool daughter everyone looks forward to seeing? Live up to your reputation by getting creative with gifts that encourage a healthy lifestyle. Give a jump rope, a package of classes at a local yoga studio or a gym membership, a soccer ball or even an American Heart Association cookbook full of heart-healthy recipes.

Read Related: Detox Diet: Perfect Before, During or After the Holidays

  • Hand out high-fiber appetizers. Try appetizers that are high in fiber such as multi-grain crackers, celery sticks, unsalted nuts, hummus and air-popped popcorn. High-fiber foods help make you feel full and satisfied.

  • Pay attention to portion sizes. Serve the big meal on smaller plates and allow some time in-between the meal and dessert. Sometimes it takes the brain longer to realize that the stomach is full, so spreading out your courses will let guests figure out if they’re satisfied.

  • Get inspired by new recipes. It’s the holidays—you’re going to eat and you want to eat something delicious! Check out some tasty ways to make traditional Latino favorites healthy. Dishes include jicama slaw, pollo con salsa mole and flan.

  • Hide the salt. Most people eat far too much salt, and some of our favorite dishes are prepared with loads of it. Do your heart a favor by putting the salt shaker away for your holiday meal. Add flavor with a squeeze of lemon or some fresh herbs.

  • Look for healthy alternatives. There are often healthy alternatives for many high-fat, high-calorie foods. For example, switch from flour tortillas to corn tortillas and you’ll save about half the calories. Brown rice is healthier than white rice and dressings like olive oil and lemon are healthier than most store-bought dressings. Read the labels!

  • Skip the sugary drinks. When you eat solid food, you start to feel full as your stomach fills up. But that’s not the case with soda and other sugary drinks (e.g., juice, alcohol). You can keep drinking them and not realize how many calories you consume. Serve sparkling water with fresh-squeezed lemon or another fruit.

  • Bring a healthy dish. Let’s face it: Sometimes it’s hard to be healthy when everyone around you is indulging. That doesn’t mean you can’t eat the food at a family gathering or party; just take less of it. Bring a healthy dish and fill most of your plate with it.

  • Keep it natural. Fresh ingredients taste best and contain the least amount of preservatives. When possible, buy fresh fruits and vegetables. When buying canned, look for salt-free and low-sodium options and rinse off the salt before you eat.

From our hearts to yours, happy holidays, ¡feliz navidad y próspero año nuevo!

This article was submitted by our friends at the American Heart Association through Vida Saludable, a bilingual resource to help keep Latino families healthy.