Michelle's Nutrition Minute - November

Hello!  This is Michelle, WCL’s registered dietitian, with this month’s Nutrition Minute because we want to MAKE EVERY MINUTE COUNT.

Healthy Holiday Party Tips

As the holidays approach, parties become numerous along with platters of rich and delicious seasonal foods. If you are hosting a gathering this holiday season and want to lighten up your offerings without sacrificing taste, you have plenty of options.

1. Try swapping out a few ingredients in your favorite recipes with some of these simple tips.

  • Using two egg whites in place of one egg can reduce dietary cholesterol and produce the same tasty result.
  • Try low-sodium vegetable broth in your mashed potatoes to add flavor and cut back on added butter or margarine.
  • Substitute applesauce for oil, margarine or butter in muffins and quick breads such as banana bread. Try substituting a small amount at first, as too much may change the texture of the finished product.
  • For dips and sauces, try using fat-free yogurt in place of sour cream or mayonnaise.
  • Try sliced or slivered almonds as a delicious, crunchy topping in place of fried onion rings.
  • Choose reduced-fat or fat-free cheeses for salads and casseroles.

2. Pack your shopping cart with plenty of fresh produce 

This includes:

  • sweet potatoes
  • winter squash
  • broccoli
  • carrots
  • green beans
  • Apples
  • cranberries
  • pears
  • fruit crisp
  • topping for the turkey

3. If you are a guest at a dinner party or other gathering, consider these tips to keep your night healthy, happy and safe:

  • Try starting your day with a small meal that includes whole grains, fruit, vegetables and some type of lean protein.
  • Consider eating a small meal or snack before the event so you aren't tempted to overeat later.
  • Socialize and settle into the festivities before seeking out the buffet.
  • Savor foods you truly enjoy and pass up on those that don't really interest you.
  • Move your socializing away from the buffet tables or appetizer trays. This will minimize the unconscious nibbling.

When it comes to alcohol, satisfy your thirst by drinking water first. Moderate alcohol consumption is defined as up to one drink daily for women and up to two drinks for men.

The holidays are a great time for gathering with friends and family over food and drinks. With just a little preparation, you can enjoy celebratory foods mindfully and still experience all that the season has to offer.

Adapted from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Eatright.org

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