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8. Have an After-Dinner Drink

Following dinner with a nice, hot cup of tea or a decaf latte can help satisfy your dessert cravings and keep your hand out of the cookie jar, says Zelman. About an hour or two after dinner, many of us get the munchies -- and enjoying a no-calorie or low-calorie beverage can keep your hands and mouth busy during those times.

9. Try Pre-Dinner Produce Munchies

"Before I start cooking dinner, I cut up veggies or fruit for everyone to snack on while I'm cooking," notes Bonnie Liebman, MS, director of nutrition for the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest.

This keeps her family from reaching for less healthy snack foods while they're waiting for dinner and encourages healthy eating in two other ways. Liebman says it gets a serving or two of produce into everyone before there's competition from other foods at dinner -- and people are more apt to like foods when they are really hungry.

10. Count 4 Colors in Each Meal

Jennifer Reilly, RD, senior nutritionist for The Cancer Project in Washington, D.C., makes sure each meal her family eats naturally contains at least four different colors. "Skittles don't count!" Reilly says.

Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, is the author of numerous books on nutrition and health. Her opinions and conclusions are her own.

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