Q: Help me make healthy food choices during the upcoming holiday season.
A: Wow, that’s an interesting challenge! Seems like everything that tastes amazing is “bad” for you! According to the American Dietetic Association, one of the keys to good health is variety.
· Appetizers - Raw vegetables make for a colorful platter that offers crunch as well as good nutrition. For a low-fat dip, try using salsa; most salsas have just five to 10 calories per tablespoon. Plain yogurt (about 10 calories per tablespoon) can substitute for sour cream (about 25 calories per tablespoon) in dips. Pretzels are a good non-fat alternative to chips. You can also slice up some low-fat cheese and serve it with crackers.
· Beverages - Make sure you have low-calorie beverages and seltzers on hand, as well as juices. Some guests may enjoy nonalcoholic beer or non-alcoholic wine as well.
· Main dishes - Compared to frying, it's healthier to bake, roast or broil foods, keeping oil or butter to a minimum. Be sure to offer salads and vegetables, preferably with dressings or sauces served on the side. By serving gravy and sauces on the side, you let guests decide how much or little they want with their food.
· Desserts - Fresh fruits and sorbets make healthy alternatives to cake or pies. If you do your baking from scratch, cut back on the amount of sugar in the recipe if you can, or try using a sugar substitute that can be used for baking, like Splenda. Or you can substitute ingredients with less fat; for example use two egg whites instead of one whole egg.