Healthier Treats

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Foods

Kim Kirchherr, MS, RD, LDN, CDE Jewel-Osco Dietitian

Once the holiday season starts, extra treat foods seem to be everywhere. This year, try a new approach and make mindful choices so favorite foods can be enjoyed wisely. Here are some tips to fit in the foods you look forward to all year.

  • Take stock of current eating habits. Keeping a food log for a few days is a great way to get back in touch with how overall food choices are helping support health and wellness goals. Taking time to write down food and beverage choices can help show how seasonal candy and treats are starting to show up as well as determining what food groups might be missing from the plan. Use this information to balance out snacks now before the holiday food frenzy begins.
  • Do a fall cleaning of the kitchen and pantry. Reorganize pantry, freezer, and refrigerator to be sure all food groups are present in the house to set meals up for success. Rotate items to be sure all are used within proper time frame, and make it easy to find those fruits and vegetables. Decorate with a bowl of apples or winter squash. This is a beautiful display that becomes a great snack or colorful part of a meal, too. Seeing those choices out makes it easier to remember them as a delicious option. It’s also helpful to reorganize the dishware to make that crockpot, soup tureen and other winter necessities easier to reach and put to use.
  • Practice balancing out the day’s choices. If parties start at work or in the neighborhood, start thinking of delicious and better for you breakfasts, snacks, and meals to balance out those options eaten away from home. A well balanced day has room for some party foods with a little planning.
  • Fit fitness in! Battle every day and holiday stressors by exercising! This also helps combat those extra calories, too. Start out by walking a bit more at the grocery store and mall. Remember raking leaves and housework are also activities that count!

  • For fall parties:

  • If juice or cider is on the menu, be sure it is pasteurized for safety. Also look for 100% juice for the most nutrition. Read labels to see what your choices are providing for you and your guests.
  • Be sure everything from the meal to the cookies is properly cooked/baked before eating.
  • Always wash fruits and vegetables before eating them. If holiday traditions include bobbing for apples, consider individual bowls of water with one apple per child to help avoid the spread of germs.
  • Store foods at proper temperatures. Keep items refrigerated until serving them to guests, and promptly store items following the party. Food should not be out for more than two hours for best food safety.
  • To help prevent the spread of germs, remember the importance of the simple act of washing hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before preparing food. Remind everyone in the family to do the same before eating and helping prepare food or setting the table.
  • Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Foods

    Apple Walnut Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

    Submitted by: Barrett

    Servings: 10
    1/2 cup chopped walnuts
    1/4 cup cranberries
    1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    1 cup red onion, chopped
    1 tablespoon white sugar
    1 tablespoon Dijon-style prepared mustard
    1 cup vegetable oil
    salt and pepper to taste
    10 cups mixed salad greens, rinsed and dried
    2 Red Delicious apples, cored and thinly sliced

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spread the walnuts out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly toasted.

    2. In a food processor, combine the cranberries, vinegar, onion, sugar, and mustard. Puree until smooth; gradually add oil, and season with salt and pepper.

    3. In a salad bowl, toss together the greens, apples, and enough of the cranberry mixture to coat. Sprinkle with walnuts, and serve.

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    Until next time!

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