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The Healthy Family Mealtime Makeover, Issue #008 -- Smart Eats for Healthy Holidays
December 06, 2005

Welcome! Learn How to Combine Healthy Recipes with Family Fun!

Its that season again when we eat too much and move too little.

Its the time when tempting foods are everywhere and darker, colder days make it easier to sit on the couch than to be active.

Its the season when many of us put our health on hold until its time for New Years resolutions again.

I like what my friend Dayle Hayes from Montana comments about the holidays.

Theres a much more positive way to approach the holiday eating season, says Dayle Hayes, RD (registered dietitian) with Nutrition for the Future in Billings.

You actually can maintain your weight, increase your energy level, and stay healthy throughout the holidays - without giving up any of the traditional treats.

Just imagine how nice it would be to not need a January diet next year!!

Well said Dayle!!

Try the easy recipe below:



Prep time: 20 minutes

Chill time: 2 hours

Yield:2 to 3 dozen 2 1/2" to 3 1/2" cookies

What would Christmas be without cookie shapes and decorations? This classic sugar-cookie dough is very easy to work with. Try baking cookies one day and decorating them the next.

2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1 stick plus 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium, beat butter and sugar until creamy.

Add egg and vanilla. Beat in flour mixture on low until combined, scraping down sides of bowl.

Divide dough in half; form into disks and wrap in plastic.

Chill 2 hours or overnight.

Heat oven to 350F. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to a 1/8" thickness. Cut out with cookie cutters. Reroll scraps.

Bake on ungreased baking sheets 7 to 9 minutes, until edges are golden. Cool on sheets 5 minutes; then cool on racks.

Decorate as desired.


Healthy eating is not about being on a diet - or passing up all your favorite holiday foods.

The way to maintain a healthy weight all year long is to make smart choices all day long to give you lots of energy and no weight gain!

Here are three tips for healthful eating during the holidays (and year-round too):

1. Balance holiday food with enjoyable activity:

Promise yourself 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity every day - and make active time fun time.

Take a walk to see holiday decorations up close. Dance with someone you love. Play outside with children.

2. Get the most nutrition from your calories:

Enjoy nutrient-rich meals and snacks before you dive into the desserts and sweets.

Enjoy a hearty breakfast every morning.

Carry power snacks (nuts, string cheese, dried fruit, etc.) for shopping expeditions and outdoor activities.

3. Make smart choices from every food group:

Holiday goodies are a food group too!

Make smart choices by going for quality rather than quantity.

Choose the items that you really want to eat; choose moderate serving sizes; and choose to enjoy them slowly and thoroughly.

What will your family do for healthier MEALTIMES?

Celebrating Healthy Families 2005


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Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Kindy --Your Family Dietitian

Copyright (c) 2005,

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