Let’s get this out of the way: no one wants to eat healthy during the holidays. That’s why it’s so important to be prepared with some healthy alternatives, so you can still have a good time without compromising your health.
Here are some ideas for tasty treats that won’t ruin your diet:
Cookies: Make your own and avoid over-sugared, preservative-laden store-bought cookies. Try almond meal, oat flour, or coconut flour in place of wheat flour (these are all gluten free!). You can even add in some protein powder to make them extra filling!
Brownies: Again, make your own! This is actually really easy if you use a brownie mix as a base and add healthy ingredients like ground flaxseeds or natural peanut butter. You’ll never know the difference!
Hot Chocolate: This year, skip the sugar and reach for the cocoa powder! Use 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder with 1 cup of milk and 1 teaspoon of honey in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until boiling, then remove from heat and add marshmallows. Serve hot!
Cupcakes: Instead of using white flour, try whole wheat pastry flour in your cupcake batter for a healthier treat that still tastes great! If you normally use buttercream frosting on top, try whipped cream instead—it’s much lower in fat and calories but still delicious!
Candy Canes: Instead of biting into sugary candy canes this year, reach for some fresh fruit or nuts instead! You can even use them as stirrers in hot chocolate or coffee instead of eating them whole—they’re healthier that way too!
Desserts: There are tons of ways to make dessert healthier without sacrificing taste or texture! Try swapping out heavy cream for low-fat Greek yogurt when making ice cream; or using applesauce instead of butter when baking pie crusts.
Of course, a little treat can sometimes be helpful in maintaining a balanced diet. Don’t go overboard eating too much or too little and allow yourself some flexibility. Being able to sustain a healthy diet inclusive of meals, snacks, and activities is critical to long-term health which is our overall goal.
If you have any questions or concerns on what may be appropriate for you or your family, feel free to give us a call.
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!
– Newburyport Family Practice.