Life Times Newsletter

Fall 2007
Vol. 9, No. 4

Party ‘Tid-bites’: Making healthy choices

Damaris Karanja, MA
Nutrition & Health Education Specialist

    Food is one of many pleasures of parties, holiday festivities, and other social gatherings at every time of the year. For many, the holiday season brings visions of candy, cookies and chocolate, but some traditional holiday foods can leave you guilt-free.
    Healthy eating is all about making wise choices. Holiday eating is no exception. We often put our focus on what not to eat, but there are still many nutritional goodies in our traditional dinner that we should not overlook. Luckily the holidays feature many healthy foods. It is a matter of how they are prepared and consumed.

Where do you begin?

Other holiday treats
Nuts, dates, figs and dried fruit are popular holiday treats and can provide significant health benefits too. Nuts have mostly unsaturated fat, making them healthier choices. Serve nuts as snacks, like pecans, walnuts, almonds and peanuts in casseroles and salads, or in cookies and cakes.

Finally, just because you are trying to eat healthfully doesn’t mean you need to avoid celebrations or accept a few extra pounds. Forget the all-or-nothing mind-set. Depriving yourself of special holiday foods, or feeling guilty when you do enjoy them, isn’t a healthful eating strategy. And deprivation and guilt certainly are not part of the holiday spirit!

Duyff, R. (2006). American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide (3rd ed.). 
John Wiley & Sons. American Dietetic Association

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University of Missouri Extension Editor: Roxanne T. Miller