Healthy holiday tips

Healthy holiday tips
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Thanksgiving is just around the corner and that means the holiday season is almost here. You can enjoy the holidays while still making healthy food choices that help you and your family be your best. Try these tips and some of our favorite holiday recipes that fit into a healthy meal plan!

  • Enjoy all food groups at your holiday meals. Serve whole-grain crackers with your dips and appetizers; include fruit on the dessert table; add unsalted nuts and beans to salads; use low-fat milk instead of cream in your casseroles.
  • Rethink holiday kid treats. Sure, cookies and desserts are a special treat this time of year. But why not mix in some more nutritious choices, such as a build-your-own yogurt parfait, with low-fat vanilla yogurt and sliced fruit? Or, for a break from the sweets, offer a low-fat cheese stick as a snack for kids.
  • Use Greek yogurt in recipes. Greek yogurt has a thick texture with more protein and less fat than sour cream or heavy cream. Use 1 cup of Greek yogurt for 1 cup of sour cream or heavy cream called for in recipes.
  • Make activity part of the fun. Go for a walk after the holiday meal; have a family dance party; sign up for a local run/walk event.

Here are two recipes that can fit into a healthy holiday meal plan. Both are also lactose-intolerance friendly. Enjoy and happy holidays!

Fresh Fruit with Creamy Lime Dip

Total Time: 15 minutes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

 

 

Ingredients

1     cup plain Greek yogurt (2% or 5% fat)

2     tablespoons granulated sugar

1     tablespoon lime juice

2     teaspoons grated lime peel

Assorted cut-cup fresh fruit (sliced apple, sliced banana, grapes, strawberries, cherries, sliced nectarine, sliced pear, quartered plums, quartered apricots, kiwi chunks, mango chunks or papaya chunks)

Directions

  1. In small bowl stir together yogurt, sugar, lime juice and 2 teaspoons peel. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 72 hours.
  2. Before serving, stir yogurt mixture. Garnish with additional lime peel (if desired). Serve with fresh fruit.

Yield: 1 cup dip; 8 servings; (1 serving = 2 tablespoons dip plus 4 pieces of fruit)

Nutrition Information: 35 calories; 3 grams protein; 0.5 grams total fat; 0 grams saturated fat; 5 grams carbohydrate; 4% Daily Value of calcium

Maple Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Yogurt

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

 

 

Ingredients

  • 6 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups whole milk plain yogurt or plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions

  1. Place sweet potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Simmer until potatoes are fork tender, 7 to 9 minutes. Strain potatoes and set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients to a food processor (yogurt through pepper) as well as the strained sweet potatoes. Pulse on high until smooth and creamy.

Yield: 8 servings (1/2 cup per serving)

Nutrition Information: 190 calories; 4 grams protein; 6 grams total fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 29 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams dietary fiber; 10% Daily Value of calcium

Lead photo: Shutterstock

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