Healthy Holiday Food Swaps

By: Staff Nutritionist and resident, Sarah Marrs

‘Tis the season of holiday parties, family gatherings, and endless treats! It can be challenging to maintain a healthy lifestyle this time of year, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. Here are a few simple swaps that will help you stay healthy and maintain your weight this holiday season without compromising flavor or fun.

  • In recipes that call for milk (i.e. casseroles, cream sauces, baked goods), use fat free. You’ll cut back on calories and saturated fat by making this simple switch. This goes for those specialty coffee drinks too! If you like treating yourself to festive lattes or coffee drinks, ask that it’s prepared with skim milk and ask for less pumps of flavored syrup.
  • In recipes that call for cream cheese, use Greek cream cheese instead. Greek cream cheese has half the fat and double the protein of regular cream cheese and is the same consistency and flavor.
  • Swap full fat dips with yogurt dips.
  • Choose white vs. dark meat. Dark meat has about twice the amount of fat and about 40% more calories than light meat.
  • Choose whole-wheat rolls or skip the rolls all together. I don’t know about you, but to me rolls are not the most exciting holiday side dish. Skip out on foods you have often or that aren’t your favorite.
  • Mix half wine and half sparkling water to save on calories and sugar.
  • Make your own low-fat turkey gravy with 1 cup of fat free turkey broth, 2 tablespoons of flour, and seasonings to taste. If you want to use the drippings from your turkey pan, drain the fat first.
  • Skip the store-bought stuffing and make your own. Store-bought stuffing is high in sodium and is made with refined grains. Make your own stuffing with whole grain bread or quinoa, low-sodium chicken broth, and your own cubed veggies like sweet potatoes, celery, onion, and carrots.

Cheers to a healthy and happy holiday season!

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