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Making Healthier Holiday Choices

The holidays are often filled with time-honored traditions that include some of our favorite meals and foods.  As you celebrate, think of little changes you can make to create a healthier meals and active days.

healthy holiday turkey roll with pumpkin

Create MyPlate Makeovers

Makeover your favorite holiday dishes.  Use My Recipe on SuperTracker to improve holiday recipes and get healthier results.  Go to SuperTracker.usda.gov/myrecipe.aspx.

Enjoy All the Food Groups at Your Celebration
  • heart healthy kibabsPrepare whole-grain crackers with hummus as an appetizer
  • Add unsalted nuts and black beans to a green-leaf salad
  • Include fresh fruit at the dessert table
  • Use low-fat milk instead of heavy cream in your casseroles.
  • Share healthier options during your holiday meal.
Make Sure Your Protein is Lean
  • Turkey, roast beef, or fresh ham are lean protein.
  • Trim visible fat before cooking.
  • Try baking or broiling instead of frying.
  • Go easy on sauces and gravies.
Cheers to Good Health
  • Quench your thirst with low-calorie options.
  • midful eating chartDrink water with lemon or lime slices.
  • Offer seltzer water with a splash of 100% fruit juice.
Bake Healthier
  • Use recipes with unsweetened applesauce or mashed ripe bananas instead of butter.
  • Try reducing the amount of sugar listed in recipes.
  • Use spices such as cinnamon, allspice, or nutmeg to add flavor.
Tweak the Sweet

For dessert, try baked apples with cinnamon and a sprinkle of sugar instead of apple pie.  Invite your guests to make their own parfait with colorful sliced fruit and low-fat yogurt.

Be the Life of the Party

Laugh, mingle, dance, and play games.  Focus fun and enjoy the company of others.

Make Exercise a Part of the Fun
  • satas exercising Make being active part of your holiday tradition.
  • Have fun walking and talking with family and friends after a holiday meal.
  • Give gifts that encourage others to practice healthy habits such as workout DVDs, running shoes and reusable water bottles.
Enjoy Leftovers
  • Create delicious new meals with your leftovers.
  • Add turkey to soups or salads.
  • Use extra veggies in omelets, sandwiches, or stews.

The possibilities are endless.

Give to Others
  • be on santas good list by eating all of the food groupsSpend time providing meals for those who may need a little help.
  • Give food to a local food bank or volunteer to serve meals at a shelter during the holiday season.

It is easy to stay healthy during the holiday seasons, as long as you are willing to put the effort in.  Making smarter choices, eating smaller portions, and staying active will help you achieve your goals!

For more information about healthy eating and physical activity, contact your local Extension Office.



Jana Hart- Extension Agent- 4-H /FCS



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