Making Healthier Holiday Choices

holiday party 2008 dessertsThe holidays are often filled with traditions that include some of our favorite meals and foods. As you celebrate, think of little changes you can make to create healthier meals and active days. These small changes may help you get through the holidays without the extra weight and guilt that goes along with it. Here are a few tips….

1. Create plate makeovers. Makeover your favorite holiday dishes. Improve holiday dishes by creating healt...hier recipes.
2. Enjoy all the food groups at your celebration. Serve whole-grain crackers with favorite spreads or add unsalted nuts and black beans to a salad. Try to include fresh fruit at the dessert table and use low fat milk instead of heavy cream in casseroles.
3. Serve lean protein. Turkey, roast beef, or fresh ham are lean protein choices. Trim visible fat before cooking. Try baking or broiling instead of frying. Go easy on sauces and gravies.
4. Cheers to good health. Quench your thirst with low calorie options. Drink water with lemon or lime. Offer seltzer water with a splash of 100% fruit juice.
5. Bake healthier. Use recipes with unsweetened applesauce or mashed bananas instead of butter. Try reducing the amount of sugar listed in recipes. Use spices like cinnamon, allspice, or nutmeg to add flavor.
6. Make exercise a part of the fun. Make being active a part of your holiday tradition. Have fun walking and talking with family and friends after a holiday meal. Give gifts that encourage others to practice healthy habits such as workout DVDs, running shoes, and reusable water bottles.
7. Create delicious new meals with your leftovers. Add turkey to soups of salads. Use extra veggies in omelets, sandwiches, or stews.
8. Give to others. Spend time providing foods or preparing meals for those who may need a little help. Give food to a local food bank or volunteer to serve meals at a shelter during the holiday season.