FullSizeRenderWith the holiday season upon us, it is almost impossible to resist the temptation of all the seasonal treats! This holiday season, take control and bake healthier holiday goodies by trying a few of these ingredient swaps  below to reduce salt, sugar and unhealthy fats in your favourite recipes.

At this festive time, our social calendars fill up fast and our “to do” list grows. With all the seasonal rush, it may feel like a great effort to eat healthy and maintain your physical activity routine.  Instead of feeling overwhelmed, take charge and try these holiday survival strategies.



Before the party:

  • Have a low-calorie high fiber snack like an apple, a small yogurt and bran cereal, or a small salad before you go. This will help to take the edge off your hunger and prevent overeating at the party.
  • If you are attending a potluck gathering, prepare a healthy dish like a fresh vegetable or fruit platter.

During the party:

  • Select appetizers carefully. Choose healthy options like raw veggies, fresh cut fruits, pretzels, salsa, shrimp and small portions of nuts.
  • Practice portion control by using a smaller plate, this will help you see how much food you are eating. You can also cut your own smaller serving of dessert.
  • Practice moderation by thinking of the spread as a menu; only pick what you really want to eat.
  • Get rid of your plate and napkin when you are finished eating.
  • Enjoy mingling and avoid sitting by the appetizer or dessert table.

The next day:

  • Go out for a walk, tobogganing, or skating. If it is too cold, choose an indoor activity like swimming or bowling or go “mall walking”.
  • Don’t deprive yourself of food to overcompensate for the previous day’s eating.
  • Try to keep your routine as consistent as possible. Eat regular meals and set aside time for physical activity.

Remake holiday recipes healthier:

Help your heart and waistline by making your favorite recipes lower in fat, sugar or salt by using:

  • low-fat yogurt in place of sour cream
  • mashed beans (white, black, kidney) or chickpeas to make dips
  • soft non-hydrogenated margarine  in place of butter for baking
  • light mayonnaise to make macaroni, egg or salmon salad
  • one third less oil in baking and replacing it with an equal amount of applesauce
  • additional spices like cinnamon, nutmeg or cloves instead of extra sugar
  • less than half the amount of recommended salt,  or skipping it altogether


The Becel Anything Goes Cookie Dough Recipe is one of my favourite holiday cookie recipes.  I have tried many of the cookie variations and they all turn out great! Find the recipe here at: www.becel.ca