Thursday, November 14, 2013

Sip and Snack Swaps

With holiday season soon upon us, the time for hot beverages, sweet/salty/crunchy snacks and cuddling up with a warm blanket in front of the TV has begun. The cold weather brings holiday drinks such as eggnog, hot chocolate, lattes and mochas and the parties bring sweet, salty and crunchy treats. It is important to be aware of these treats and drinks as they can pack a bunch of calories into a day. Many people are not aware of the amount of liquid calories consumed at the holiday time, but when a 16 oz. eggnog latte from Starbucks has 470 calories, it is something we need to start paying attention to. There is a place for beverages such as these in your diet. However, they should be consumed in smaller serving sizes and only occasionally. As well some of the traditional treats can be consumed but there are great alternatives out there to subdue the cravings for these snacks.

Try some of these alternative drinks this season when planning a party.

1. Fruity tea soda instead of a soft drink or flavored soda 
  • To make this steep two tea bags of your favourite herbal tea in 3 cups of boiling water (we used Tetley's Mint Mojito - pictured above). Chill. Add 1 cup sparkling mineral or soda water. You will have an instant fizzy drink with close to no sugar
2. Citrus water instead of fruit juice 
  • Mix a teaspoon of lemon or lime juice with 8 oz. of water to have a refreshing drink without the sugar and calories from fruit juice. Try using a water bowl instead of a punch bowl at the next party you host. 
3. Herbal tea instead of eggnog, hot chocolate, lattes and mochas.
  • Consider picking up the holiday flavors of teas to have instead of having the sugar sweetened, high fat beverages. If you do go for the other beverages try a skinny version or get the drink with half the sweetness.

Try some of these healthy snacks to curb the salty, crunchy or sweet cravings that come along with the holiday season:
  • Cheesy Kale Chips - Tear kale leaves into large pieces and arrange on a baking sheet. Spritz with olive oil and bake in a 350°F oven until crisp. While still warm, sprinkle with a little grated Parmesan cheese (check out our past post and Today I Ate a Rainbow's video).
  • Five-spice pumpkin seeds - Toss salted pumpkin seeds with sesame oil and Chinese five-spice powder; bake at 350°F until crisp.
  • Buffalo popcorn - Toss air-popped popcorn with olive oil, chili powder, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese (how to make your own microwave popcorn)
  • Chickpea poppers - Drain and rinse canned chickpeas, then dry them with a paper towel. Spritz with extra-virgin olive oil, season with dried oregano and garlic powder, and roast at 400°F until crisp (read more).
  • Banana cream pie - Spread graham crackers with vanilla fat-free Greek yogurt, then top with a handful of banana slices and a sprinkle of ground flaxseed. (Read the label to make sure you stick to one serving of graham crackers.)
  • Grapefruit Brule - Transform a simple grapefruit into something decadent: Halve it; drizzle each half with a little dark honey (use concentrated sweets sparingly), and broil until bubbly.
...more examples of sweet, salty, crunchy treats
Remember, there will be temptations at every holiday party you go to. If you focus on good choices most of the year, treats at the holiday season can fit in to a balanced diet. Just spend more time choosing the better option and don’t over indulge when you do have some treats. Enjoy the holiday season and stay warm this winter!

Kaitlyn Kwasney, Dietetic Intern
for Stephanie Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching