Holiday snacks give people plenty of reasons to enjoy the season. In between house parties and office parties and hosting guests, delicious treats are everywhere you turn. However, if you’re not careful, going overboard with holiday snack consumption can lead to weight gain. It’s no secret that this time of year is notorious for causing people to add on several unwanted pounds. Preparing several quick and healthy holiday snacks will make it easier for you to make better choices. Try preparing some of these snacks to offer at your home or bring to a party.
1. Turkey and Cheese Roll Ups
These snacks are a great source of protein and make for a nice deviation from all of the sugary treats sure to be present throughout the season. Purchase some turkey deli meat and some thinly sliced low fat cheese, such as Swiss. Roll a slice of turkey and a slice of cheese together, then cut the roll into thirds or fourths and place a toothpick in each piece. Eat a few of these filling snacks and it’ll be easier to pass up that second cookie.
2. Hummus, Pita Chip and Vegetable Tray
Skip the mayonnaise-based dips and opt for hummus instead. While still high in fat content, hummus is high in fiber and protein. It tastes great with pita chips and is an especially effective snack when consumed on vegetables like carrot and celery sticks. You can make your own or purchase some in the store. For simplicity’s sake, buy a small container of hummus.
3. Sweet Trail Mix
Instead of purchasing a pre-packaged bag of trail mix, make your own. Start with lots of plain unsalted almonds. They’re a great source of protein, fiber and a variety of other vitamins and minerals your body needs. Throw in a dash of other nuts, like cashews and peanuts. Add in some dried fruit like cherries, peaches or raisins. Finally, for your sweet tooth, throw in a bag or two of peanut M&M’s (how many bags you add will depend on how much trail mix you make). While trail mix isn’t the healthiest snack option in the grander scheme of food choices, it’s a much more filling and nutritious snack than standard holiday fare. A handful of trail mix beats cream puffs and cheese dips!
4. Dark Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
It’s no wonder this snack is always mentioned as a healthy option for a dessert treat in fitness magazines and health cookbooks. Strawberries are loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants. They’re sweet enough to eat on their own, but around the holidays there’s no shame in dipping them in some dark chocolate for an extra tasty treat. Melt some dark chocolate in a pan over the stove (this will work best if you place the pan with the chocolate within a pot of boiling water). Dip the strawberries in, and then place them on some wax paper in the fridge to harden for several hours.
The best strategy for snacking in the holiday season is to make you calories count. Make sure whatever you eat has at lease some nutritional value.