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
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.
Judy’s passion for cooking began with helping her grandmother make raisin oatmeal for breakfast. From there she earned her first food service job at 15, was accepted to the world famous Culinary Institute of America at 18 (where she graduated second in her class), and went on to the Fachschule Richemont in Switzerland where she focused on pastry arts and baking. But after learning that the quality of a croissant directly varies with how much butter it has, Judy sought to challenge herself by coming up with recipes that were as healthy as they were tasty.
Judy received The Culinary Institute of America’s Pro Chef II certification, the American Culinary Federation Bronze Medal, Gold Medal, and ACF Chef of the Year. Her enthusiasm for eating nutritiously and deliciously leads her to constantly innovate and use the latest in nutritional science to guide her creativity, from putting new twists on fajitas to adapting Italian brownies to include ingredients like toasted nuts and cooked honey. Judy’s publishing company, Food and Health Communications, is dedicated to her vision that everyone can make food that tastes as good as it is for you.