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Healthier Holiday Desserts

Anne Kolker • MS, Registered Dietitian • Oct 04, 2011
holiday eating healthy foods for childrenIt's December and you are busy getting ready for the holiday season.  
You are in charge of bringing holiday goodies for the children's school party, family get together or  some other special event.   The usual desserts are cookies, cakes and candy treats.
You may want to come up with some healthier alternatives but who has time? Not to worry. We are moms too and are here to help. With a few changes you can make almost any holiday snack a little healthier.
This month, we thought it would be helpful to give you some holiday snack and dessert ideas that are delicious, fun and healthier.


Healthier Holiday Cookies, Cakes And Dessert Ideas

Kids (and parents) love desserts. Who doesn’t? It’s one of the foods we all look forward to and make room for. But it doesn’t have to be only sugar and fat! There are plenty of little ways you can modify your recipe to make it healthier without losing the sweet taste.
Here are some tips for creating healthier holiday desserts:
  • Sugar is one of the key ingredients in most desserts. (Okay, it is the key ingredient in desserts). But you can keep your desserts sweet with some healthier options. Agave is a natural sweetener and stevia is a low calorie natural sweetener from plants. Also, you can usually reduce your sugar by about 1/3 and no one will notice, just experiment a little.healthy holiday desserts for family and children
  • Some sites may recommend substituting sugar with “sugar substitutes” like saccharin, aspartame, or sucralose, (the pink, the blue, the yellow). But these sugar substitutes are not natural, have chemicals and there are plenty of research questioning the safety of some of these sugars. These are not good options for kids. It is better to use real sugar and lessen the amount (start with ¼ less than the recipe calls for) instead of substituting unnatural chemical sweeteners. Avoid these sugar substitutes.
  • Some recipes call for lard or shortening to make the dough or crust. These fats can be full of saturated fats or trans fats, neither of these are good for the heart. Look for unsalted low fat butter or low fat margarine. Check the food label to be sure it says “no trans fats” and is low in saturated fats. Yes, they are still fats but much healthier option for the heart.
  • Try using lessening the amount of butter or margarine. You can often get away with ¼ less then recommended amount without changing the taste of the recipe. But of course, you will have to try it and see.
  • Try adding some fresh fruit to your cakes and cupcake recipes. You can mix it into the mix or decorate the top of it. Now it has some vitamins and nutrients!
  • You can also add some walnuts or almonds to spice up your holiday recipe and some healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.
We know that holiday desserts are a normal part of the celebration. We don’t say “Don’t eat that” because we know that is not realistic or practical. Instead, try some of our suggestions so that kids will enjoy the holiday treats with a healthier option.
From the staff at Nourish Interactive, have a healthy, happy holiday with many magical moments. May the New Year be full of laughter, hope, and daily servings of fruits and vegetables.








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Written by Anne KolkerWritten on Oct 04, 2011Last updated on Aug 23, 2013




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