AREA -- Thanksgiving has passed and most of us have already stuffed ourselves with turkey and dressing and pumpkin pie.
Now we have Christmas and the new year with many more holiday goodies to enjoy.
Brenda Bell with the local University of Missouri Extension Office has some tips for enjoying holiday eating without extending the waistline.
"We can practice eating healthier this holiday season, with just a few simple changes to some favorite recipes. A family can still enjoy their favorite holiday foods, only healthier and with more nutritious alternatives," Bell said.
Reducing sugar, fat and salt in recipes will help to make them more nutritious and healthier. Listed below are nine ways to reduce the sugar, fat and salt in recipes.
* Use one-fourth to one third less fat and sugar in baked products and desserts.
* Use skim milk or one percent low-fat milk. Substitute evaporated skim milk in recipes calling for regular evaporated milk or cream.
* Choose cooking techniques that don't add fat. For example, use non-stick skillets with non-stick cooking spray.
* Add a small amount of vanilla, cinnamon or nutmeg to sweeten baked products when you reduce sugars.
* Leave salt out (or reduce by one-half) of most recipes.
* Try fruit juice, low sodium broth or wine for cooking meat.
* Use onion and garlic power rather than onion salt, garlic salt of other seasoned salts. Start with about half as much powder as you would salt.
* Choose whole grain ingredients rather than refined products. Whole-wheat flour can substitute for up to half the white flour in baking without any noticeable change in flavor or texture.
* Add more fruits and vegetables to recipes, including the peel when possible.
"A person can do a few simple things to prevent overeating during the holidays. Eating a light snack before a party or dinner, a snack like yogurt or a piece or fruit. Do not stand near the buffet table to minimize the temptation to nibble. Portion out smaller servings and savor food by chewing slowly. Limit alcohol and sugar-sweetened drinks that are laden with calories. Choose water or fat free milk and eat only until you are satisfied and then stop. Moderation is the key," Bell said.
"Instead of making food the center of any social gathering this holiday season, focus on socializing with family and friends. And, instead of trying to eat everything in sight, consider freezing some for another day," she said.