Monday, December 10, 2012

5 Healthy Holiday Tips for Low-Sugar Snacks

Keep healthy snacks around to spread holiday cheer that nobody has to feel guilty about.

Bowls of assorted nuts in their shells.
Nuts in their shells are a healthy snack and are fun to crack!

Do you feel stressed or anxious when the holidays come around? Are you always worried about what you should eat or what snacks are low in sugar? Here are five tips to help you choose healthier low-sugar snacks during the holidays:

  1. Fresh is Best: Fresh fruits and vegetables make great snacks during the holidays. They are naturally lower in sugar and a great source of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Choose fruits and vegetables that are in season because they are full of flavor! Not sure which fruits or vegetables are in season? Check out SeasonalCornucopia.com for a list of items that are in season year round.
  2. Nuts: Having an assortment of nuts in their shell is another great snack for the holidays. They are full of healthy fats, protein and fiber. They are also fun to crack open with a group of friends.
  3. Smoothies: Make festive fruit and veggie smoothies as a snack! The combinations and flavors are endless. Just add ice and water and you are ready for a refreshing cool treat!
  4. Whole Grains: Bake whole-grain muffins or breads. Sweeten them and keep them moist with the addition of fresh fruits. Another benefit is that whole grains keep you fuller longer, which minimizes your chances of oversnacking.
  5. Dips: Be creative by making zesty dips! Try making a roasted beet dip with goat cheese or jazzing up cottage cheese with garlic and fresh herbs.

Food should help nourish your body and bring you joy. Don’t get bogged down by holiday snacking stress and overly processed foods. Whichever options you choose to take during the holidays, just remember to have fun and enjoy!

— Diana Tran, MSN, dietetic intern, and Debra Boutin, MS, RD, chair and dietetic internship director, Department of Nutrition and Exercise Science at Bastyr University.

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