Healthy holiday snacks sounds like an oxymoron, right? With so many rich foods and indulgent treats available at every turn, it can be difficult to keep eating right during this time of year. With a few tips and tricks, the entire family can eat healthier while still enjoying the holidays to the fullest.
Alternatives for Healthy Holiday Snacks
Healthy eating during the holidays is just like healthy eating throughout the year – it's not about deprivation! After all, food is an integral part of your traditions, and everyone deserves to enjoy a few amazing over-the-top meals throughout the year, right?
Where I think it's important to keep holiday eating under control is snacking on a daily basis. When cookies, candy and succulent treats show up almost daily at work and at home, it can be difficult to resist for both kids and adults. Here are five rules my family follows so we don't let healthy habits slide simply due to the holiday season:
1. Nibble on nuts Packed with nutrients like omega-3s and protein, raw nuts are healthy holiday snacks that are delicious and will fill you up fast. Always keep your favorite varieties on hand. I love almonds, cashews, pecans and peanuts.
2. Keep the fruit bowl full When the kids ask for a snack, I direct them right to the fruit bowl. They select one item of their choice and I feel good knowing they are snacking on fresh, unprocessed foods. Right now it's citrus season, so stock up on tasty oranges, grapefruits, etc., which are packed with vitamin C. Fresh colorful fruits are also one of the prettiest of the healthy holiday snacks!
3. Go for whole grains Whole grains are delicious and filling, making them the perfect item for holiday snacking. Keep the pantry stocked with whole grain crackers and bread, then add a little nut butter and you can munch away! (I eat a snack like this before going to a big holiday meal because it helps so I don't overeat once I arrive.)
4. Grab-and-go Time is the enemy when it comes to unhealthy snacking. Stock your refrigerator with containers of individually portioned veggies and you'll always have something you can grab on the run rather than swipe a cookie off the holiday platter.
5. The one-for-one rule Sometimes you just want a cookie, caramel or a piece of fudge. Forget the guilt trip and follow the one-for-one rule. If you eat a treat, make sure you eat another healthy snack like an apple or carrot sticks. Finish with a big glass of water!
So get on Pinterest or your favorite foodie blog and start planning! What healthy holiday snacks will you serve?