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A dietician's guide to healthy holiday eating

Bart Everson - Flickr: Extreme Gingerbread

The upcoming holidays are a time to enjoy delicious food and cooking, but a University of Delaware dietician recommends you watch what you eat and how much of it.

Some Delawareans may choose to dive into their large Christmas dinners without eating all day, and UD dietician Sharon Collison says it’s one of the biggest behaviors she worries about over the holidays.

“They’ll starve all day on a day when they have some kind of event,” Collison said, “and then they’ll arrive at the dinner or the party ravenous and they’ll end up eating more calories than they would have if they had eaten all day.”

Collison recommends people plan out their holiday meals accordingly and ensure they are cooking and eating healthy.

“You can reduce fat in some baked goods and replace half the fat with fruit puree like apple sauce or pureed carrots,” she said.

Some tips Collison offers include reducing the sugar slightly but increasing the amount of cinnamon or throwing in some freshly topped fruit. Reducing the sugar, fat and calorie count in baked goods doesn’t really compromise the taste or texture of peoples’ culinary Christmas creations, she said.

One of her personal favorite recipes is a cranberry pecan multi-grain stuffing, which fits a gluten-free diet.

“This is a stuffing that you make that doesn’t have any glutten in it and it doesn’t use bread, it uses wild rice,” Collison said. “It’s a real festive holiday dish because it has sautéed onions and garlic and cranberries and pecans.”

Collison said although Delawareans should be mindful about what they eat, it is important to remember to enjoy the holidays.

Healthier Holiday Recipes by Delaware Public Media on Scribd