The holiday dinner doesn’t have to be a guilt-ridden affair, says Gary Miller, a nutritionist with Wake Forest University’s Department of Health & Exercise Science. “Regardless of whether you stick with your diet, or make a few exceptions, it’s not what you do for two days during the year that determines your health, but your habits for the remaining 363 days that count most,” Miller says. His own holiday eating plan: choose favorites and lower-fat foods when available on the buffet table, eat a light lunch the day of a big holiday dinner, continue regular exercise, and never go to a party hungry.
The holidays can intensify the grief that some people are feeling, according to Samuel T. Gladding, a Wake Forest counseling professor who has led grief recovery groups. The holidays can be a reminder that a lost loved one is not around anymore. Gladding offers several suggestions for dealing with grief, such as focusing on others by volunteering to help the needy and drawing upon the support available from friends, relatives or, if needed, a community agency. Maintaining routines and staying busy can also be helpful, he says.
Three Wake Forest professors offer some gift-giving tips for parents wanting to choose educational, but fun, gifts for their children. Mary Lynn Redmond, an associate education professor, suggests gifts that help children learn foreign words and phrases. Lessons in German, French and a variety of languages are available on audio tape and CD-ROM, said Redmond, who specializes in foreign language education for children. Parents should choose interactive and entertaining programs that help children understand the context of a word or phrase. Redmond’s personal pick is the “All in One Language Fun,” a CD-ROM for children in pre-kindergarten to upper elementary. Sharpen a child’s analytical skills with jigsaw puzzles or board games, suggests Leah McCoy, an associate education professor. McCoy, who specializes in math instruction, recommends games that require children to sort information, such as Clue, a board game in which players solve a mystery. Children with a knack for science might enjoy hands-on activities in chemistry. Mark Welker, a chemistry professor, said activity packs for children with all the necessary materials are available from the American Chemical Society. Also, the Institute for Chemical Education offers books for activities using common household items, he said.
Exams end Saturday, Dec. 14. Classes will resume for students Jan. 15. The university’s administrative offices will be closed Dec. 20 through Dec. 29.
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