NASE News

Make the Holidays Healthier

The holidays don’t have to be all about following Grandma’s recipe and creating the buffet of all buffets. Remember that sharing memories and conversation with family and friends stands as the best part of this special time of year. When it comes to celebrating the holiday season, keep some tips for healthy cooking and healthy fun in mind.

Healthy Holiday Cooking
Creating the meal that everyone loves and expects does not rely on fat and calories to make it good. You are the cook, and you make the rules. Recognize and incorporate the many substitutes into your dishes that transform a traditional holiday feast into a healthier traditional holiday feast.

  • When baking, replace oil with applesauce. Use equal amounts in breads, cookies and cakes.

  • In place of cream, try evaporated skim milk.

  • Replace mayonnaise and sour cream with fat free versions or yogurt.

  • Cook sweet potatoes in calcium-fortified orange juice.

  • Cook vegetables in chicken broth for added flavor and fewer calories than butter.

  • Use a nonstick cooking pan so that you do not have to cook with oil.

Healthy Holiday Eating
Though it is part of your responsibility to enjoy a beautiful meal prepared for you and other guests, it does not mean that you have to sacrifice your waistband. Take pleasure in the feast before you while considering your health.
  • Avoid being overly hungry by eating light meals throughout the day leading up to the event.

  • If you tend to hover over the hors d'oeuvres consume the low calorie treats as opposed to those rich in fat and calories.

  • Stay away from alcohol.

  • Eat only when you are hungry.

  • Enjoy a variety of colored, textured foods for more nutrients.

  • Use smaller plates.

  • Eat slowly.

  • Consume five or more servings of fruits and vegetables.

  • Limit yourself to one serving of bread and rolls.

  • Choose desserts wisely.

  • Use salad dressing on the side.

  • Mediate your portions.

  • Consider what you will eat before you sit down at the table.

Healthy Holiday Fun

Though there are many preparations for the holidays, the best part of it all is celebrating with friends and family. Make sure that you prepare your mind and body for all the excitement to come.
  • Get plenty of sleep to invigorate your senses and clear your mind.

  • Limit your consumption of alcohol to stay alert and to eliminate calories.

  • Enjoy some physical activity several times a week to maintain your energy levels and stay fit.

  • Choose healthy meals and snacks.

  • Spend quality time with friends and family whom you do not see often.

  • Take a tour of the holiday lights in the neighborhood.

Celebrating the holiday season can be a healthy experience mixed with fun. Consider the benefits of monitoring cooking and eating. Mix fun with family and friends to truly enjoy all that this time of year has to offer.