Holidays are all about food and traditions like baking grandma’s famous pie recipe with your kids each year. It is ok to indulge in your favorite holiday treats but try to be mindful of your portion sizes during holiday celebrations. Use the tips below to set you up for success this holiday season.

Tricks to use while at the party

  • Volunteer to bring a salad or fruit platter to the party. Bringing an appetizer or entrée allows you to have access to a nutritious choice.
  • Have a small snack before going to a holiday party. If you arrive to a party feeling hungry, you may have oversized portions during the meal. How do I build a heathy snack? Combine two food groups together to create a nutritious and filling snack. For example, a great choice would be an apple with one to two tablespoons of peanut butter.
  • Use a small plate. A larger plate allows you to load more food onto it, which can lead to overeating.
  • The holidays should be about spending time with friends and family. If you stand by the food while socializing, you may be tempted to mindlessly snack. Move your conversation away from the food to reduce mindless snacking.

Cooking Tips

  • Use low-fat, plain yogurt instead of sour cream in your holiday recipes.
  • Choose 100% whole wheat bread or whole grain white bread instead of traditional white bread for stuffing. The whole wheat and whole grain white bread will be higher in fiber, which helps with weight management.
  • Utilize herbs and salt free spices to flavor foods. Add in fresh or dried garlic to mashed potatoes or roast carrots with cinnamon for a kick of flavor for a healthy side dish.
  • Try skim or 1% milk instead of whole milk in recipes.

Baking Tips

  • Try reducing the amount of sugar in a recipe by a quarter the next time you are baking. For example, decrease sugar to ¾ cup instead of 1 cup.
  • Use vanilla extract or spices (cinnamon or nutmeg) to flavor dessert items. Top cakes with a small amount of powdered sugar or fresh fruit (berries) instead of high fat frostings.
  • Utilize whole wheat or whole grain white flour instead of white flour. Whole grain white flour works great in muffin and cookie recipes.
  • Use half the butter or oil and replace the other half with unsweetened applesauce or mashed banana.
  • Swap out equal amounts of whole milk for 1% or skim milk. Use one cup of evaporated fat-free milk instead of one cup of cream.

Written by BWS Dietitian-Melissa Morningstar Vajas RD, LD

Continue reading December 2022 Newsletter: Top Wellness Tips from 2022