Tips for a Healthier Holiday Season :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

Tips for a Healthier Holiday Season

Enjoy the Holiday season without the extra pounds

Portion control. Enjoy that holiday sugar cookie or chocolate truffle; but remember to watch your portion sizes. One cookie is enough to give you a sugar fix without overdoing it.

Beware of hidden fats. Because homemade goodies lack a food label, it can be hard to determine the fat & calorie content of many treats. This is not an excuse, however, to ignore ingredients. Gravies & stuffings made with butter, margarine or grease are going to be higher in fat. Most Holiday cookies are made with butter & lots of sugar, making them very calorie ridden.

Opt for sugar substitutes. With so many Holiday treats containing sugar as the primary ingredient, choosing a sugar substitute such as Splenda can greatly reduce the sugar & calorie content of the food. Splenda offers a blend (1/2 sugar & 1/2 Splenda) to use in baking which reduces the sugar content by 50%.

Eat well-balanced meals. Be sure to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains & lean protein throughout the Holiday season. This helps prevent goodies from substituting dinner while making sure you’re getting important vitamins & minerals.

Substitute:
Use low-fat or light substitutions when possible.

  • Choose skim milk instead of 2% milk
  • Opt for sugar sprinkles instead of icing for Holiday sugar cookies
  • Refrigerate gravy before serving to skim excess fat from the top

These are just a few small changes or substitutions that can help you keep those lurking holiday pounds away. Here are a few examples of some substitutions to keep in mind when baking those Holiday treats:

Instead of: Substitute:
1 whole egg 2 egg whites or egg substitute
sour cream low-fat yogurt or low-fat sour cream
2% milk or whole milk 1% or skim milk
cream cheese low-fat cream cheese or ricotta cheese
heavy cream 2 tbsp. flour whisked into 2 cups skim milk or evaporated skim milk
whipped cream chilled evaporated skim milk/fat-free whipped cream
oil in baked goods applesauce or equal amount oil and applesauce

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