by Jeni Tackett – Registered Dietitian, Trinity Medical Center
The Holiday season does not have to result in weight gain. You can still enjoy your favorite holiday treats with these simple tricks:
- Substitute low-carbohydrate vegetables in place
of pasta and potatoes.Fill at least half of your plate with chlorophyll instead carbo-fill. Steamed broccoli, green beans, or a big salad are all great choices. Increasing low-calorie, low-carbohydrate vegetables in your diet is healthful and can keep your waistline trim.
- Use healthful substitutions in recipes. Slim down your favorite holiday recipes with some simple substitutions:
- Use evaporated nonfat milk in place of heavy cream or whole milk.
- Whip mashed potatoes with evaporated milk or chicken- or vegetable-broth.
- Make gravy with nonfat milk instead of 2% or whole milk.
- Substitute wild rice or quinoa as a healthier, whole-grain stuffing.
- Use nonfat sour cream or yogurt in dips.
- If you’re going to a party, health can come with you. Bring a fruit salad or fresh vegetables and low-fat dip. At your own family gatherings, slide healthy foods in alongside the richer, high-fat holiday treats. You might be surprised how much adults and children enjoy the healthy food.
- Don’t skip meals. Although it’s tempting to skip breakfast and work up a big appetite for Thanksgiving dinner, you will end up overeating. Make sure to eat a healthy breakfast before a large meal at lunchtime. And if you’re cooking, keep a fresh veggie tray on the counter to keep your hands out of the treats. And when you sit down at the holiday table, practice portion control.
- Watch liquid calories. Make a low-calorie holiday drink for adults and children. Club soda and a splash of pomegranate juice garnished with a cherry is a surprising treat. Avoid or limit high-calorie beverages such as eggnog. Remember that alcoholic tipples add their own calories and increase your appetite for food-borne calories. Drink plenty of water.
Food is an important part of the holiday season, but you can also make traditions that do not center around the kitchen. Take a walk after your Thanksgiving feast, play some football outside, or play cards with the kids. The holiday season is a time to enjoy the company of family and friends. Enjoy the season and continue healthful eating habits all year long.
For other stories related to this subject, check out the following:
- Desserts can be the best of treats and the worst of treats. Meet in the middle with no-crust, lower-calorie pumpkin pie, or try any of many waistline-friendly specialty pies.
- Thanksgiving menus have changed since the Mayflower’s three-day celebration. Click here for a history of the holiday’s early celebration.
- Most Thanksgiving jokes are real turkeys, but if you must find out why the turkey crossed the road, click here.
|Jeni Tackett is a registered dietitian at Trinity Medical Center and the Two Rivers YMCA. Jeni majored in Nutrition and Dietetics at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Caroline. She lives East Moline with her husband, Nathan and their two children, Noah and Lily and two dogs. Jack and Lola.For a listing of all of Jeni's blog posts on MVHNews, click here.|