During the holidays, many of us see loved ones and celebrate what means the most to us. And along with that comes events, gatherings and food loaded with fat and sugar. All the delicious snacks and treats can test even the most self-disciplined among us. We should, of course, enjoy ourselves during the holidays. But incorporating healthy holiday snacks into your festivities can help you maintain a balanced diet.
A Case for Healthy Holiday Snacks
The average American gains one to two pounds during the holiday season. That may not seem like much. But the risk occurs when that holiday weight gain sticks around. In a few years, it could mean an extra five to ten pounds.
Carrying extra weight can harm our health. So, even if it is just a pound or two, it is best to avoid weight gain. Incorporate some healthy holiday snacks to do just that!
Fruit: The Festive and Healthy Treat
Fruit can satisfy your sweet tooth and deliver the vitamins and nutrients your body needs. It won’t leave you feeling bloated!
The color and vibrancy of fruit make it a great healthy holiday treat to take to parties. You can even arrange fruit to look like adorable little snowmen and other holiday shapes. Your fun fruit arrangement may be the talk of the party!
Fruit is also great to dip in chocolate for a decadent treat. Chocolate-dipped strawberries, bananas, and apples are all yummy options. Chocolate-dipped fruit is healthier than nibbling on a piece of chocolate fudge, which has around 120 calories per ounce. A large chocolate-covered strawberry is just 57 calories and delivers a boost in nutrients like vitamin C.
Vegetables: Unexpectedly Delicious Snack
Vegetables can be a great way to keep you feeling full and keep your plate colorful with nutrient-dense food. A few options for vegetable-based healthy holiday snacks include:
- Bacon-Wrapped Cauliflower: Bacon-wrapped cauliflower is a delicious appetizer or side dish. Cauliflower is high in fiber and vitamins, which are great for overall health.
- Beet Chips: Beets are a wonderful, rich red color. They have a festive feel to them! Beet chips are easy to make in your oven and look beautiful added to a holiday spread.
- Light Spinach Artichoke Dip: Opting for low-fat options can reduce your fat intake while you still enjoy delicious food. If you have a favorite holiday treat, look for ways to make it healthier by swapping sour cream for Greek yogurt and avocado in place of butter.
- Roasted Red Pepper Hummus: An alternative to your typical ranch dressing or sour cream and onion dip. This hummus is just 163 calories for four tablespoons and delivers 32 percent of your daily vitamin C. Ranch dressing contains almost double the calories and has little to no vitamins.
Nuts: The Sweet or Salty Healthy Holiday Snack
Nuts are a versatile snack and can satisfy a sweet tooth or curb your craving for a salty, crunchy treat. Nuts provide vital proteins and nutrients, good fats, antioxidants, and can reduce cholesterol. There are dozens of nuts to choose from, so you can try out different kinds.
- Roasted Chestnuts: What could be more festive than roasted chestnuts? Chestnuts are a great source of vitamins and minerals.
- Candied Pecans: Eat candied nuts alone or add them to a salad for extra crunch.
- Holiday Nut Mix: Try mixing several of your favorite nut varieties together. Set out for gatherings or leave on your kitchen counter for a go-to healthy snack.