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Lynn DiTaranto, Department of Public Health.

 

Lynn is a Nutrition Education Specialist with DPH.

 

 

It’s December and holiday foods are on my mind (and maybe yours too). Making healthy food choices can be tough, especially where festive snacks and meals are everywhere. But, who says all holiday munchies have to be high in fat and sugar? Healthy holiday eating is possible! Here is a list of ideas to help you during the holiday celebrations.

• This season, don’t plan on “blowing it” just to start all over for the New Year. Practice self control during the parties, lunches, and family gatherings. Feel good about the food choices you’re making and portion sizes of treats.

• If you’re hosting or attending a holiday party, try to provide a healthy dish so you know there will be a selection that includes a fruit salad or a vegetable side dish. Use fruits that are in season this winter, such as apricots, pears, kiwi and tangerines. A well prepared vegetable salad is full of nutrients and can be a part of any holiday meal. To top your winter greens, choose a variety of options to pack it with flavor such as dried cranberries, walnuts, and crumbled cheese. 

• For healthy delicious desserts, put together options such as angel food cake with fresh berries or strawberries dipped in dark chocolate.

• Don’t drink your calories. Go easy on sugary and/or alcoholic beverages.

• Have a snack before the holiday meal or party. Don’t allow yourself to be too hungry before the celebrations. 

• Be active and go for a walk after the meal—anything to get up and move!

Check out these recipes for a wonderful winter fruit salad or a warm green bean and mushroom side dish.

Do you have tips for healthy holiday eating? How about suggesting nutrient-packed appetizers, sides and entrees? Let's help each other makeover our traditional holiday recipes into light, healthier ones. Come on, let's have fun with this. We’d love to hear from you!

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