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Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

Posted on November 18th, 2014. on SplendaLiving.com
Guest Blogger: Robyn Flipse, MS, MA, RDN

I have been compensated for my time by McNeil Nutritionals, LLC, the maker of SPLENDA® Sweetener Products. All statements and opinions are my own. I have pledged to Blog With Integrity, asserting that the trust of my readers and the blogging community is vitally important to me.

One of the things that makes holidays so special is the food. Even though there is no law against roasting a turkey in February or baking sugar cookies in July, many of us rarely do. Instead, we reserve our favorite recipes for certain days of the year when we can eat them while celebrating with family and friends.

If you’re looking forward to enjoying some traditional holiday fare in the weeks ahead, but dread the holiday weight gain that can often go with it, there is a way to “have your cake and eat it too.” And it can even start with dessert!

Ending Your Meal with “Sweet Nutrition”

An important criterion for any dessert is that it tastes great, preferably by satisfying our sweet tooth. Few of us expect dessert to deliver any key nutrients, but it is possible. As we begin another holiday season, finding desserts that offer the perfect combination of “sweet nutrition” in one delicious dish is a concept worth celebrating.

Let’s start with fall fruit pies. Apples, pears and cranberries are seasonal fruits with high nutritional value, but their benefits are diminished when buried beneath too much added sugar and a rich pastry crust both top and bottom. By turning these fruits into dessert crisps sweetened with SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener instead of sugar and topped with a crunchy oats instead of pie dough, we can enjoy them with a lot fewer calories – and that can translate into less weight gain during the holidays.

A few of my favorites from the SPLENDA® recipe files are Cranberry Pear Crisp and Granny’s Apple Crisp. See if you don’t agree.

Another popular holiday pie is made with a very nutritious vegetable – pumpkin. A healthy alternative involves using all the same spices plus the milk and eggs found in the pie, but then replacing the bottom pastry crust with some cubed bread, and using SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener instead of sugar for a delicious Pumpkin Bread Pudding. This combination of sweet nutrition is good enough to serve for breakfast on those special holiday mornings when your family is together. I know mine has loved the smell of this sweet and spicy dish coming out of the oven on those occasions.

Speaking of breakfast, you can serve up some sweetness with these German Apple Pancakes and no one will miss a sugary maple-flavored syrup that can clock in at 200 calories per ¼ cup. Or for a savory version, try this Baked Apple Pancake (see image on the left) that reunites the classic combo of apples and Cheddar cheese in a satisfying morning meal.

Starting Sweet New Traditions

Cutting the excess calories from your holiday dessert recipes isn’t all that is needed when it comes to avoiding holiday weight gain, but it’s a good start. Think of it as one step towards some sweet new traditions that you can pass on to your children and grandchildren so their future holiday celebrations can still be as sweet, but a whole lot healthier, thanks to you and to SPLENDA® Sweetener.

You can find more SPLENDA® recipes that offer sweet nutrition and fewer calories at http://recipes.splenda.com.

Robyn Flipse, MS, MA, RDN, “The Everyday RD,” is an author and nutrition consultant who has headed the nutrition services department in a large teaching hospital and maintained a private practice where she provided diet therapy to individuals and families. With more than 30 years of experience, Robyn is motivated by the opportunity to help people make the best eating decisions for their everyday diet. She believes that choosing what to eat should not be a daily battle and aims to separate the facts from the fiction so you can enjoy eating well.