'Tis the Season To Cook Healthy and Manage Stress

Source: Post Eagle Newspaper
Family holiday customs include trimming trees, lighting candles, and making traditional foods and sweets we know and love. But, it is also a time of overindulgence. Today, with about one in three American kids and teens overweight or obese, it is more important than ever to make smart, heart healthy choices for the entire family.
“Seasonal fruits and vegetables can add color to your table and can make your traditional meals more nutritious,” said Dr. Marcus Williams, “half your plate should comprise of fruits and vegetables, while the other two quarters should be made up of whole grains and healthy proteins.”
The American Heart Association has tips to keep your family and your meals healthy during holiday celebrations and keep stress at a minimum. With some healthy substitutes, family recipes can taste just as good when you try these simple tricks:
During Baking:
– Instead of butter, substitute equal parts cinnamon-flavored, no-sugar-added applesauce.
– Instead of sugar, use a lower-calorie sugar substitute.
– Instead of whole or heavy cream, substitute low-fat or skim milk.
– Instead of using only white flour, use half white and half whole-wheat flour.
When Cooking:
– Use vegetable oils such as olive oil instead of butter (even in your mashed potatoes).
– Use herbs and spices, like rosemary and cloves, to flavor dishes instead of butter and salt.
– Use whole-grain breads and pastas instead of white.

Stress can be at its highest level when you are trying to take care of the family, cook, clean and prepare for any guests. To keep stress to a minimum:
– Plan ahead to help manage your time.
– Focus on one task at a time.
– Get the kids to help with chores.
– Take time to relax.
– Get enough sleep.

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