The holidays are a time to take a break from work and school and enjoy time with our families. Many people like to eat special meals as a way to celebrate. However, many of these foods are also very unhealthy for you and your family. High calorie foods full of sugar and fat can make your family sick and overweight.
Instead, try replacing some of the popular holiday treats with other healthy foods. Here are some dishes you can trade in for healthier replacements:
One of the best ways to celebrate with friends and family is to share beverages and alcoholic drinks such as wine. Instead of drinking a full glass, replace two ounces of wine with club soda. This removes 60 calories from your drink, but still keeps it sparkling and tasty.
Store bought eggnog is full of whole milk and cream. One glass of this sweet drink contains 400 calories and 19 grams of fat. Yikes! Some people also like to add alcohol, adding even more calories to the drink.
There are several drinks that can replace eggnog. You can make your own eggnog with better ingredients or you can just find other drinks to enjoy instead, such as drinking ginger cocktails or a glass of apple cider.
Candied yams are a popular and common Thanksgiving and Christmas food. Unfortunately, ½ cup of candied yams is about 215 calories. Try eating sweet potatoes with a little bit of olive oil instead of butter and sugar. A ¾ cup of these savory potatoes is only about 100 calories. Additionally, this option offers more vitamins!
The dark meat in turkey or chicken has about twice as much fat as the white meat. The white meat also has about 40% fewer calories in it that the dark meat. Instead of eating dark meat with the skin, choose white meat without the skin and save about 70 calories.
Store-bought stuffing is tasty but it is not very good for your family. You can easily make your own stuffing that is much better for you! Chop up celery, onions, and other vegetables into cubes and cook them in 1 – 2 tablespoons of oil. For the bread part of the stuffing, use low-sodium chicken broth and whole-grain bread. Moisten the bread with the chicken broth, add the vegetable and your favorite herbs, and then bake it! This food option has less fat, more fiber, and even more flavor.
Many people make mashed potatoes with a lot of whole milk and fattening butter. Mashed potatoes are a great food to add to your holiday meals, but you can make this food healthier.
Use reduced-fat butter and skim milk to keep from eating 7 grams of fat. You can even leave the peel on the potatoes to add potassium, vitamin C, and iron. If you don’t want to use potatoes at all, try making mashed cauliflower instead. It has a lot of flavor and a similar consistency as mashed potatoes without the calories and fat.
One of the best part of the holidays is all of the baked goods!! There is pumpkin pie, apple pie, pecan pie, rhubarb pie, and many more! But the buttery crust, white flour, and shortening in these desserts make them very unhealthy.
However, you can still eat them! All you need to do is skip eating the crust. Just prepare the pie filling and pair it with whipped cream instead of ice cream. If possible, skip the crust all together and just enjoy the filling!
Community Health Center of Snohomish County
At your local Community Health Center, our goal is to help you and your family stay healthy and strong, even through the holidays. If you are in need of health services for you or your children, our doctors can assist you. For more information, contact us today by giving us a call at (425)-789-3700 or by filling out our form to make an appointment.