Holiday Planner

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Holiday times are here! This means a lot more activity and disruption to regular meal and exercise patterns. The good news is you can plan ahead to avoid waist expansion!
MyPlate Snack Plan
Now is a perfect time to brush up on a few convenient snacks and appetizers to fill hunger gaps, provide important nutrients, and keep you on track during holiday craziness. It is easy for extra calories to creep in when we get too hungry and choose the wrong type or quantity of food. Healthful snack choices CAN keep us on track. All you need is a plan – plan to have healthful food with you.
By bringing snacks along with you, or in the glove compartment, YOU control when and what you eat. Use MyPlate to help you pick tasty foods from a variety of food groups:
• Half cup trail mix made up of nuts, dried raisins, whole grain cereal or chopped apple.
• A cupful of your favorite ready-to-eat low-fat whole-grain cereal in a snack baggie,
• Whole grain crackers and light string cheese,
• A couple of small breadsticks and an apple
• Graham snacks and a piece of fruit
• Mini-bagel with peanut butter
• Light yogurt
• One ounce dry roasted nuts
Home Sweet Home Plan
The next suggestion is called “Home for the Holidays.” During these hectic times it’s best to stock up on snacks you WANT to eat at your house.
1. Cut up, chill, and store those raw veggies.
2. Keep potatoes and sweet potatoes on hand to pop in the microwave.
3. A large salad made up the night before works wonders and doesn’t break the calorie budget.
4. An individual portion of a previously made and frozen batch of chili or heart vegetable soup heats up quick.
Ready for Company Plan
Then we have “Company’s Coming” with some sure-fire winners including:
1. Reduced-fat crackers with hummus or low-fat cheese dip
2. Fruit kebobs (use colored toothpicks) with yogurt dip
3. Colorful veggies with a TANGY dip
4. Baked chips and bean dip
5. Low-fat muffins and quick breads
6. Air popped or low-fat microwave popcorn topped with seasonings or a colored sugar
7. Colorful pasta salad
Sweet Plans
For those with a sweet tooth, try some of my “Sweet Dreams” suggestions such as:
1. Slices of angel food cake drizzled with strawberry sauce
2. Festive fruit platter
3. Small colorful cookies on a small plate
4. low-fat soy eggnog
5. Flavored coffee
By Barbara Hart, MS, RD.

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