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Your Holiday Nutrition Questions Answered

By Staff | Dec 11, 2015

Q: I want to avoid gaining weight during the holidays this year, but the pounds seem to creep up on me. Do you have any tips? We often have lots of tempting treats, such as holiday cookies and candy, around us during this time of the year. Maintaining our current weight instead of trying to lose weight may be the best goal. Here are some tips to consider this year:

  • Have breakfast every day. Enjoy protein-rich foods such as eggs, yogurt and/or milk along with whole-grain toast or cereal. Protein and whole grains help keep us feeling full longer.
  • Have a bowl of broth-based soup and/or an apple or other whole fruit before going to a holiday party or shopping. Soup and fiber-rich fruit can tame your appetite so you can resist the temptations.
  • Use a small plate and stand away from the food table at parties. Fill your plate with lower-calorie, high-fiber foods such as fruits and vegetables.
  • If you attend a potluck, set a good example by bringing a veggie or fruit tray.
  • Remember that beverage calories add up quickly. Have ice water flavored with a lemon or lime slice instead of fruit punch or other holiday beverages.
  • Slow down when you eat and enjoy the delicious food. Visit with your friends and wait 20 minutes before you decide to go for seconds. You might be full after the first serving.

Q: Groceries are getting expensive, but eating out is even more expensive. How can I save money on food so I can buy some holiday gifts for my family? Cooking meals at home is an excellent way to save money, so consider these tips to help you stretch your food dollar:

  • Make a meal plan for the week using the sales ads to help you decide what to make. Prepare a grocery list and stick to the list. Compare unit prices (price per ounce) at the store, but buy what you will use in a reasonable time.
  • Stretch your protein foods, such as meat and poultry, by making casseroles, soups and stews with plenty of vegetables. Use more dry beans and lentils in soups and stews. These foods are rich in fiber and nutrition, and very inexpensive.
  • If your favorite fruits and vegetables are out of season, check the frozen foods aisle and the canned goods section. All forms of fruits and vegetables count toward the 4 cups of fruits and vegetables most people need per day.

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookie Mix

1 c. plus 2 Tbsp. flour

1 c. rolled oats

c. dried cranberries

tsp. salt

c. brown sugar

c. white sugar

tsp. baking soda

c. white

chocolate chips

To make a 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

c. 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.

SOURCE: Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

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