All Posts In Healthy Holidays

8 Tricks for Lightening Up Holiday Foods

by in Healthy Holidays, Healthy Tips, December 13, 2012

eggnog
We heart holiday food, but holiday food doesn’t always show love our waistlines. Use these simple tricks to lighten up your favorites.

#1: Baked Ham
Ham is a lean meat but when recipes call for one pound per serving the calories skyrocket to 760 and the fat climbs to 44 grams! Also, when you’re talking smoked or cured foods, the sodium can get out of control.

To lighten: Stick to 3 to 4 ounce portions and lessen the amount of salt added to flavor the ham or use lower-sodium versions.

Other tips to lighten up baked ham

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Homemade Holiday Gift: Rum Balls

by in Cookies & Other Desserts, Healthy Holidays, December 13, 2012

rum balls
These deliciously decadent chocolate-flavored balls have been a family favorite for decades. Whip them up this holiday season for the ones you love.

Food Safety Note
These rum balls have been modified from the version my mom made when I was younger. The original version calls for a raw egg (the batter isn’t cooked). To make these rum balls kid-friendly and adhere to prevent salmonella, I use a pasteurized whole egg and swapped in rum extract for the real stuff. This means the egg was heat treated to kill pathogens, though it looks like any other raw egg. Many markets carry them—look for the word “pasteurized” on the label.

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Food Fight: Eggnog vs. Hot Cocoa

by in Healthy Holidays, December 11, 2012

egg nog and hot cocoa
Are these sippers on your holiday hit list? Find out which is the most sensible choice – it all comes down to how you make it.

Eggnog
A frothy combo of egg, cream and sugar, this classic libation is a gut-buster. Add a jolly splash (or two) of booze and the calories only get worse.

Homemade and lightened-up versions can dial back the fat and calories and highlight the healthy attributes of this seasonal treat. Use lower fat ingredients and eggnog has a lot to offer – namely good-for-you nutrients like protein, calcium and vitamin D.

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32 Diabetes-Friendly Holiday Recipes

by in Healthy Holidays, Healthy Recipes, December 11, 2012

stuffed pork
Finding mouthwatering diabetic-friendly recipes can be a challenge but don’t let anyone tell you that it isn’t possible! Whether you’re throwing a huge holiday shindig or having a more intimate affair, here are 32 diabetic-friendly holiday recipes from appetizers to desserts and every course in between.

The Criteria
In order to be diabetic-friendly, the recipe must contain a maximum of 30 grams of carbohydrates per serving (which equals two carbohydrate exchanges). In addition, all of these recipes are sensible in the calorie and fat department too.

Appetizers

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14 Healthy, Gluten-Free Holiday Recipes

by in Gluten-Free, Healthy Holidays, December 6, 2012

gluten-free cake
Planning a holiday menu is stressful enough without having to worry about the special dietary needs of your guests. Choose from any of these holiday recipes and put any fears about gluten to rest*.

Appetizers
•    Edamame Hummus
•    Mini Pizzas made with Gluten Free Pizza Dough
•    The Shrimp Cocktail
•    Spiced Pecans

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Family-Friendly Hannukah Fare

by in Healthy Holidays, December 6, 2012

potato pancakes
Hanukkah has always been one of my favorite holidays. Baked goodies, chocolate coins, and 8 days of gifts—what’s not to like during this festival of lights? As an RD and mom, I want to teach my kids healthy eating habits even on holidays (no need for fried EVERYTHING) and I also want to watch my own waistline. Here are some healthy, Hanukkah-licious recipes that are perfect for the entire family.

Appetizers

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Thanksgiving Dinner-Hopping Strategies

by in Healthy Holidays, Healthy Tips, November 21, 2012

thanksgiving dinner
Are you a feast hopper– stopping by 2 or even 3 Turkey Day meals every year? Follow these tips so you can enjoy holiday favorites without feeling like you need to roll home by the end of the evening.

Strategy #1: Come Hungry, Not Starving
Arrive at your first feast famished and you’ll probably end up over-stuffing yourself. You’ll feel tired (turkey coma?) and can even end up with heartburn. At the next house, you’ll turn down Aunt Mary’s famous pie and insult the whole family (oh, the drama!). Have a small snack about 30-45 minutes before your first stop. A piece of fruit, granola bar or nonfat Greek yogurt will do the trick.

Strategy #2: Enjoy the Conversation
Instead of shoveling food with lightening speed, put down the fork and enjoy chatting with family and friends. This also helps slow down your food flow, enabling you to eat less and leaving room for feast #2.

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Thanksgiving By the Numbers

by in Healthy Holidays, November 18, 2012

Thanksgiving dinner
Thanksgiving is famous for belly-busting dinners and pant-splitting desserts. We’ll give you some tips so you can eat to your heart’s content and still save some calories.

Crunching the Numbers
We built two Thanksgiving plates, loaded with all the usual suspects. A few small tweaks can save more than 1,000 calories!

Meal #1: Belly Buster
6 ounces roasted turkey (white meat and dark meat with skin) = 360 calories
1 cup sausage stuffing = 380 calories
½ cup gravy = 70 calories
¼ cup cranberry sauce = 100 calories
1 cup green bean casserole = 175 calories
1 cup mashed potatoes = 250 calories
1 slice apple pie a la mode = 500 calories

Total Calories = 1,835

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Don’t Be Tricked Into These Treats

by in Healthy Holidays, October 30, 2012

halloween candy
It’s not just the ghouls and ghosts causing a scare on Halloween — how about the mountains of treats handed out to kids by friends and neighbors? Some treats are worse than others — these are the ones that I pick out of my kiddos’ candy stash when they’re not looking and toss them into the trash.

Taffy
Depending on the brand, taffy has about 160 calories and 27 grams of sugar for about 5 pieces. The fact that my kids need to try VERY hard to bite into one tells me they shouldn’t be eating it. Read the ingredient list and you’ll find corn syrup, palm oil, hydrogenated oil and artificial colors. In one bite, your kid can eat at least 4 ingredients that many experts tell you to avoid.

Candy-Filled Lollipops
Gum or chewy-candy filled lollipops may be exciting for kids but why on earth do they need a 2-in-1 treat? The only thing they’ll be getting more of is sugar!

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Cinco de Mayo Drinks and Appetizers

by in Healthy Holidays, May 3, 2012
six-layer dip
Food Network Magazine's Slim Six-Layer Dip

In the US, the 5th of May is a day to celebrate Mexican heritage. Get your Cinco de Mayo fiesta started with these tasty bites and killer cocktails.

Festive Cocktails
Ginger Margaritas
Classic Margaritas, Lightened Up
Sangria
Blueberry-Ginger Mojitos

No-Fail Appetizers
Slim Six-Layer Dip (above)
Chili Cheese Dip
Nectarine Avocado Salsa
Mexican Tortilla Pizza
Mango Salsa Scoops
Margarita Chicken Skewers
Cilantro Scallops

Tell Us: What’s on your Cinco menu?

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