After licking the beaters, I quietly whispered "I love you cookie dough" into the warm cookie-scented kitchen air. My college nutrition professors used to say "never trust a dietitian who doesn't love ice cream" and I would extend that adage to "never trust a dietitian who doesn't love cookies." Even though cookies are my one true love, I know that eating too many will give me a stomach ache, headache, and general icky feeling.
I want to feel good during the holidays - not icky.
But I still I want to make and eat holiday-shaped treats together.
I still want to get cozy with a warm drink while reading "The Polar Express."
And I still want my house to smell like warm cookies.
I just don't want to feel yucky from all the extra sugar, and, I don't my kids to feel yucky either.
Can you relate?
If so, I've got a few healthy holiday treats for you to try. Not as a replacement for traditional holiday baking, but for a healthy filler between those mugs of "butterscotch hot coco with extra whip cream" and "sugar cookies mounded with sweet almond frosting."
Eating healthy isn't about eliminating all the sugar and fun.
It's about balancing it out.
Here are three recipes I use to balance things out during the holidays
1) Warm Vanilla Milk
The first recipe I frequently make during the holidays is warm vanilla milk. Click on the link for the recipe. I've been whipping this up since my kids were about 3 and they often prefer it instead of hot cocoa. It's warm and comforting without any added sugar.
Do we still drink cocoa? Of course! But it's more of a sometimes food rather than an everyday after-school snack.
2) Kiwi Trees
Another fun food I like to make during the holidays is kiwi trees. Simply cut the skin off of a kiwi, slice it into half circles and arrange it into a tree. One kiwi provides 370% of a child's vitamin C needs for the day, 100% of their vitamin K needs, and 16% of their vitamin E needs. If your child is old enough to eat pomegranates, the seeds make perfect little tree ornaments. I used orange segments for the star.
3) Banana Cookies
These banana cookies are easy, nutritious, and filling. They are full of potassium, fiber, iron, zinc, and healthy fats. I often make these when I want the house to smell like cookies, but don't want to fill my kids up with extra sugar.
Those are 3 of my favorite healthy holiday treats. Remember that I am a trustworthy dietitian....I still make and eat my fill of regular cookies during the holidays. But I'm careful to choose healthier options when I've had enough sugar.
I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend. Thank you for reading my blog posts! I hope to see you all at the cooking class/club in January. We are making Lentil Soup and Whole Wheat Quick Bread. You can sign up for class here.