3 Ways to Serve Healthy Holiday Snacks Kids Will Crave
The holidays are an exciting time of year, full of family gatherings, nights spent drafting letters to Santa and caroling out in the snow (or 70-degree weather if you live in the Gulf South; let’s be honest). Another aspect of the holiday season, and an important one at that, is food. Everywhere we turn, tables are lined with appetizers and sweets and indulgent plates of festive offerings.
Treating ourselves to our favorite holiday fare can be part of our annual festive traditions, even when we’re looking to keep our wellness goals in check. Here’s a rundown on some of our favorite good-for-you holiday snacks that even kids will love for you to prepare for your next holiday gathering.
1. Fruit, but make it fun
- Instead of apple pie, try a baked apple with all the fixings! Top a baked apple with a dab of butter or coconut oil and a plant-based no-calorie sweetener like Swerve or Truvia. For added creaminess, add a dollop of ricotta cheese or cottage cheese. Bonus: It ups the protein to keep you and your kiddos fuller longer.
- A partridge in a (baked) pear tree: Like apples, pears are extra delicious when popped in the oven for a bit. Try topping a baked pear with crumbled goat cheese and just a drizzle of honey.
2. Snacks that go well with holiday movies
- Popcorn: Keep things natural by popping your own popcorn and get creative with holiday-inspired flavors like nutmeg and cinnamon, fresh rosemary and garlic powder or toss in a handful of white chocolate chips (try Lily’s no-sugar chocolate chips) and add a dash of salt for a y:
- Frozen yogurt: If you’re the kind of family who enjoys sitting down with a bowl of ice cream, try swapping out the nightly bowl of Ben & Jerry’s for frozen yogurt instead. The best part? Each member of your family can customize their yogurt however they choose. Grab plain Greek yogurt and mix in frozen or microwaved fruit to create a DIY fruit compote. Jazz it up with almond butter, peanut butter, Lily’s chocolate chips (or caramel, peppermint or butterscotch chips) or a dusting of naturally-colored sprinkles. Once you’ve mixed in your goodies, pop it in the freezer for a bit and enjoy. This also works well for homemade yogurt popsicles using store-bought popsicle molds.
3. Healthier swaps
If you’re cooking a festive holiday feast, here are some simple swaps that will skimp on calories but not skimp on flavor:
- Use coconut oil in place of butter for an added dose of healthy fats.
- Avocados can be used in place of oil for baking.
- Heavy cream? Try unsweetened canned coconut milk instead for sweet dishes. For savory, we recommend unsweetened, plain almond or coconut milk, or even 2% cow’s milk.
- Try an air fryer over traditional frying in grease – you’ll get the crispy texture you crave from baking, too.
Eating healthy during the holidays doesn’t have to be boring. So, ‘tis the season for being merry, spending time with family and adding that boost of extra nutrition wherever you can get it.
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