Healthier Holidays Tips and Recipes

Eat before you greet: Eat three meals a day and avoid skipping meals and starving yourself. If you allow yourself to get too hungry you are more likely to overeat. Before you leave for a party, eat a light snack to curb your appetite. For example: low-fat cheese and crackers, or cereal with 1 percent or fat-free milk.

Beware of beverages: Beverages such as regular soda, beer, wine, hard liquor, or mixed drinks can easily add an extra 150 to 400 calories per drink to your daily caloric intake. Alternate these types of drinks with club soda, mineral or seltzer water and you will cut the total calories by half.

Leave the leftovers: If you receive a gift of tempting treats, serve it immediately to your guests or give it to a charitable organization. If you can't part with it, place it in the freezer or another out of sight place to help resist temptation. Be aware of which foods you find it difficult to control your portions. You may want to avoid keeping these temptations around your house, and try to allow small portions of them when you are away from home.

Get a jump-start on your New Year's Resolution and begin exercising or ramp up your routine now. Not only will the exercise help offset excess calories and help you prevent weight gain, it is a great way to manage holiday stress.

For more nutrition information and healthy eating tips visit the American Dietetic Association website at

Low Fat Ranch Dressing or Dip

  • from Quick and Healthy Recipes and Ideas by Brenda J. Ponichtera, R.D.
  • 1 package (0.4 oz) ranch style dressing mix
    one-half cup nonfat plain yogurt
    one-half cup reduced calorie mayonnaise
    1 pint buttermilk

    In a large bowl, blend the package with yogurt and mayonnaise. Mix in buttermilk. For a dip: substitute the yogurt, mayonnaise and buttermilk with ½ cup lowfat sour cream and ½ cup nonfat plain yogurt.

  • One serving: 2 Tablespoons
  • Calories per serving: 28
  • Fat: 2 g
  • Vanilla Eggnog

  • From Merri Post, Middleroad Acres, Minnesota
  • 3 pasteurized eggs (or 3/4 cup pasteurized egg product, like Egg Beaters)
    1/3 cup sugar
    4 cups lowfat milk
    1 cup lowfat vanilla yogurt
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    Whole nutmeg, grated

    In a blender, mix eggs and sugar. Add milk, yogurt, vanilla and salt; blend until frothy. Pour into serving glasses and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

  • Servings: 7
  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cost/recipe: $3.03
  • Cost/serving: $0.43
  • Nutritional Facts per Serving (1 cup)

  • Calories: 158
  • Total fat: 4 grams
  • Saturated fat: 2 grams
  • Cholesterol: 99mg
  • Sodium: 156 mg
  • Carbs: 22grams
  • Protein: 9grams
  • Calcium: 25 percent Daily Value
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