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Kaylor: Tiny tastes can make for extra calories

By Staff | Dec 19, 2014

THE EXTRA CALORIES can sneak up on us over the winter holidays. They don’t always arrive in the form of large portions of calorie-laden food. Rather, they may tiptoe in through many tiny tastes throughout the day.

Let’s look at “Holly Day’s” food diary for one day and view how those “tiny tastes” can add up. Calories are approximate and will vary, depending on brand, recipe, exact serving size, etc.

TASTE 1: Oops! I broke that cookie removing it from the baking sheet. I’ll just eat the half that didn’t get all crumbled up. I deserve it for getting up early to bake these cookies before heading to work. Approx. 30 calories

TASTE 2: Someone brought holiday candy to work today! I’ll just have one small piece of the peanut brittle. Approx. 80 calories

TASTE 3: It’s mid-afternoon and I still haven’t eaten lunch. I need to pick up a few things at the grocery store before I swing through a fast food place for a quick bite. The grocery store is offering food samples. I’ll just eat a little cracker with spread to tide me over until I get to lunch. Approx. 40 calories

TASTE 4: The fast food place is giving out cup samples of its special flavored holiday coffee. I can’t pass that up! Approx. 20 calories

TASTE 5: Still a couple of hours to go at work before I head to the holiday dinner tonight. I think I’ll check out the break room to see if any more goodies have shown up. Some chocolate-covered cherries have appeared! Chocolate is good for you, right? I’ll just have one. Approx. 60 calories

TASTE 6: It’s a great dinner party, but maybe I shouldn’t stand near the snack table before the meal starts. I’m now dipping my third chip. Approx. 75 calories

TASTE 7: Who can pass up old-fashioned eggnog? I’ll just have a half cup. Approx. 200 calories

TASTE 8: There are just a couple of tablespoons of candied sweet potatoes left. Someone should enjoy them – it might as well be me! Approx. 60 calories

TASTE 9: The nice thing about helping dish up dessert is you can take a little “preview” taste – using a separate tasting spoon, of course! One heaping tablespoon of candy cane ice cream coming right up! Approx. 70 calories


If comparable types of “tiny tastes” are continued throughout the holidays, it might be possible to gain as much as a pound a week! On average, an additional 3,500 calories above your body’s needs can lead to a weight gain of a pound. On the flip side, cutting back on just 100 extra calories per day can lead to a weight loss of 10 pounds per year. Maybe the tiny taste isn’t so small after all.

By: Alice Henneman, MS, RDN, Extension Educator, UNL Extension; Web: food.unl.edu


1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. flour

1 cup rolled oats

cup dried cranberries

tsp. salt

cup brown sugar

cup white sugar

tsp. baking soda

cup white chocolate chips

To make gift mix: Layer the ingredients in a clean, quart-sized jar. Cover the jar tightly with a lid, decorate it and attach a copy of the directions.

To make right away: Place the cookie mix ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Proceed as follows.


1 container Cranberry Oatmeal Cookie Mix

cup butter

1 tsp. vanilla

1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix butter, vanilla and egg together until smooth. Add cookie mix and mix well. Place by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for eight to 10 minutes until golden brown. For best flavor, use this mix within nine months.

Makes 28 cookies. Each serving has 100 calories, 4.5 grams (g) fat, 13 g carbohydrate and 70 milligrams sodium.

From NDSU Extension Service Food Wise Julie Garden-Robinson, Food & Nutrition Specialist

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