Surving the Holidays- Part 1 The Holiday Meal

 Go into the meal with a plan. Have some good ole’ favorites on the menu, but challenge yourself to offer healthier dishes this holiday season. 

Make a list before grocery shopping and stick to it.  Do no shop on an empty stomach to avoid sugary and high fat impulse buys.

Have a green salad with the meal.  Fill your plate with colorful salad and low-fat dressing to save calories and increase nutrients.

Make a healthy stuffing/dressing.  Onions, celery, other colorful veggies, apple chunks, dried cranberries, wild and brown rice pilaf with nuts and sage can offer a tasty and healthy alternative to a traditional side dish.  

Make mashed potatoes healthier. Use skim milk rather than whole milk. Decrease butter and cream in half and replace with skim milk and turkey broth.  Mash cooked cauliflower florets with the potatoes.  Cauliflower has a naturally buttery taste.

Can I make the gravy healthier?  You sure can. Refrigerate the pan juices and skim the fat off the top before making gravy. This step can decrease 500 calories per cup of gravy. Add pureed cooked carrots, onions, and celery for additional flavor and texture.

Limit margarine and butter when preparing yams or sweet potatoes. Try sweetening the dish with cubed pineapple, cinnamon, raisins and/or fruit juice instead of brown sugar.

Use fat-free or low-sodium soup for casserole dishes.

Replace oil with applesauce in cookies and cakes. 

Use whole-wheat pastry flour instead of white flour in all baked goods.

Enjoy healthier pumpkin pie. Decrease the sugar (by half) and add extra 1-2 T of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

Remember “You are what you eat”!  Try these tips to avoid resembling the Thanksgiving bird.

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