Tag Archives: treats

Healthy DIY Food Gifts

Healthy DIY Food Gifts

As you get ready for the holidays, be smart about the treats you bring to loved ones with these healthy DIY food gifts.

First up are Rosemary Cheese Crackers perfect for munching. Try using whole-wheat flour!

Rosemary Cheese Crackers
Image and Recipe via Buzzfeed

 

Beautiful Homemade Extracts perfect for holiday baking make great gifts for the baker in your life.

Homemade Extracts
Image and Recipe via Spoon Fork Bacon

 

The tea-lover in your life will love this easy Chai Tea Kit jar as a gift.

Chai Tea Kit
Image and Recipe via Buzzfeed

 

The Easiest Berry Chia Jam is the perfect gift for the breakfast-obsessed person in your life.

Easiest Berry Chia Jam

The Easiest Berry Chia Jam

 

Easy appetizer at the family get-together is covered with Marinated Cheese & Olives.

Marinated Cheese & Olives ~ An Easy Appetizer or Food Gift in a Jar!

 

Add more flavor to every dish with these Flavored Salts made for gifting.

Flavored Salts
Image and Recipe via Country Living

 

Make winter meals easy for your loved ones with these 6 Homemade Soup Mixes in a Jar.

6 Homemade Soup Mixes in a Jar

Healthy Frozen Fruit Recipes

Healthy Frozen Fruit Recipes

This week, we’re featuring healthy frozen fruit recipes to help you save and whip up tasty treats in a hurry.

First up are Frozen Fruit Cups that are great for keeping lunchboxes cold.

Lunchbox Frozen Fruit Salad Cups

 

These Baked Blueberry Banana Oatmeal Cups are an easy breakfast on the go.

Baked Blueberry Banana Oatmeal Cups
Image and Recipe via Yummiest Food

 

5-Minute Creamy Mango Ice Cream is a simple treat to whip up all summer long.

5-Minute Creamy Mango Ice Cream

 

Make Raspberry Homemade Fruit Leathers with Frozen Fruit as a kid-friendly treat.

Raspberry Homemade Fruit Roll Ups with Frozen Fruit
Image and Recipe via Diary of a (Semi) Health Nut

 

These 5-Minute Applesauce Combos for Kids sneak even more fruits and veggies into your kids’ favorite snack.

5-Minute Applesauce Combos for Kids
Image and Recipe via Baby FoodE

 

Make brunch for the whole family from ingredients in your pantry with this Baked Honey Berry Oatmeal.

Baked Honey Berry Oatmeal
Image and Recipe via Apple of My Eye

 

Easy Frozen Yogurt Fruit Pops are frozen pops you can even eat for breakfast.

EASY FROZEN YOGURT FRUIT POPS

Your Favorite Summer Dairy Desserts

Healthy Dairy Desserts

This week, for Dairy Month, we featured some sweet dairy desserts for your 4th of July parties.

First up is a quick and easy snack for the kids, Strawberry Yogurt Freezer Cups.

Strawberry Yogurt Freezer Cups

 

These Skinny Raspberry Cheesecake Bars are the perfect treat for sharing.

Skinny Raspberry Cheesecake Bars
Image and Recipe via Amy’s Healthy Baking

 

Frozen Smoothie Bars are a wonderful breakfast on summer mornings.

Frozen Smoothie Bars
Image and Recipe via Bakers Royale

 

Whip up this Chocolate Frozen Yogurt for an icy treat on hot days.

{Breakfast} Chocolate Frozen Yogurt

Chocolate Frozen Yogurt
Image and Recipe via Chelsea’s Messy Apron

 

These Lemon Pie Popsicles are light and refreshing when you’re by the pool.

Lemon Pie Popsicles

 

No one will guess this Chocolate Greek Yogurt Pie is healthy.

Chocolate Greek Yogurt Pie

 

Use in-season peaches to make refreshing Creamy Peach & Honey Popsicles.

Creamy Peach & Honey Popsicles

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Holiday Cookie Eating

Chasing Health: My Ho-Ho-Horrible Holiday Eating & Exercise Habits

I love the holiday season. In the fall and early winter, it seems like there is something special to celebrate nearly every other week. The list goes on and on, and I can’t get enough of it.

As a holiday enthusiast, I appreciate it all, from decorating, baking, and gift-buying to curling up and watching holiday-themed movies, not to mention mouth-watering smells, twinkling lights, and feeling like you’re in a magical snow globe at the first sight of flurries. Seems innocent enough, right?

Well, when I’m not watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation or Home Alone 2 for the 80th time, tearing up when “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” comes on the radio, or obsessing over the placement of ornaments on my tree (perfectionism strikes again), you can probably find me eating all the delicious holiday goodies that come along this time of year.

On top of turkey, ham, and the wide selection of casseroles, you get fudge, cookies, cheeseball, cheese dips, and pretty much any other finger food you can imagine. It’s amazing.

This is the time of year a lot of people take a break from their diets and indulge. It’s also the time of year when the days are short and cold, and your couch and TV seem to call your name the minute you walk through your door. (“Nicole, come catch up on The Walking Dead for the next five hours. I already set out your favorite blanket.”) It’s not a good combination.

But there is hope. Whether you overeat because your stress from the holiday grind has reached Clark Griswold level or (like me) you’ve waited all year for your mom’s chocolate crinkle cookies, you don’t have to put your healthy eating and exercise on hold.

I realize it’s hard to control yourself when you’re surrounded by fabulous snacks in every direction. I go into my family’s celebration with the same strategy every year, and it’s not a healthy one.

On Christmas Eve, I skip breakfast, make ham-and-cheese pinwheels (my decade-and-a-half-long contribution to our family’s party), nibble on the ones that don’t quite make the cut, and consider that my lunch.

An hour or two later when I’m extra hungry from skipping two meals, I help my mom set out all our delicious cookies. I’m an expert in taste-testing.

Cookie pic 2
My mom is in charge of chocolate crinkles (my all-time favorite!), peanut butter, and molasses. I’m in charge of the iced sugar cookies.

Once my aunt’s cheeseball and grandma’s fudge arrive, it’s game over. I’m usually not even hungry by the time my dad’s secret-recipe glazed ham is ready. But I somehow rally like a true holiday-eating champion and get through that meal and an equally delicious meal the next day with the other side of my family.

How does the two-day affair almost always end? With a stomachache and a tinge of regret.

Here is the fabulous spread of delicious goodies. Notice the salad and bowl of oranges. Not everything is unhealthy! Full disclosure, I skip right over both of those.
Here is the fabulous spread of delicious goodies. Notice the salad and bowl of oranges. Not everything is unhealthy! Full disclosure, I skip right over both of those.

Holidays don’t have to end in stomachaches or regret. Here are some tips based on my own worst holiday habits to help you stay on track this holiday season.

  • Don’t cut back on sleep before the big celebration. I like to stay up late any chance I get, whether there’s a special occasion or I’m just watching Netflix by myself. I’m no better than the millions of kids staying up to wait for Santa. But research shows that not getting enough sleep can make you crave the not-so-healthy foods, which isn’t good when the not-so-healthy foods are everywhere.
  • Don’t skip meals to overeat at the party later. Sometimes I think skipping breakfast and lunch gives me a free pass to fill my body with chocolate. It doesn’t. It not only puts me in the wrong mindset, but an Ohio State study suggests that doing this regularly can also affect how your body gains belly fat.
  • Don’t stand around the snack table. This is my favorite place to camp out for the afternoon, but it makes snacking a little too convenient. I probably don’t need a 10th piece of fudge, but who’s counting? (This brings me to my next point.)
  • Keep track of what you’re eating. I started tracking what I eat at the beginning of December as part of a headache diary for my migraines, and my snacking has fallen way off since then. I can only imagine how much this tracking system will help me through the holidays. Any kind of food diary can help you see how healthy or unhealthy your eating habits are.
  • Eat something healthy. Sadly, despite what Buddy the Elf tells us, the main food groups are not “candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup.” Mix some fruits and veggies into your holiday meals and snacking options, and eat the unhealthier options in moderation.
  • Keep yourself busy with something other than food. Play games (my brother and I are quite the Catch Phrase duo) or set up a tournament. My cousins and I have hosted all kinds of championship events, everything from table tennis to Guitar Hero to rock-paper-scissors (we must have been feeling either really bored or hyper-competitive that year). The more physically active and farther from the food, the better.
  • Keep up your exercise routine (or something close to it). If you fall off, don’t feel discouraged (and don’t eat more cookies to console yourself). Just start exercising again. It’s easy to make excuses, but if you’re like me, you’ll feel better physically and mentally if you don’t ditch the physical activity.

I hope to follow at least some of these tips this holiday season and hope you do, too. I’ve already tried pretending celery is chocolate. It didn’t go so well, but I have high hopes for these other more reasonable tips.

Happy holidays!

me alternate option

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Holiday Orange Recipes

Healthy Orange Recipes

While you decorate your house and whip up holiday treats, we’ll help you make use of your leftover in-season oranges with these orange recipes.

This Pomegranate Orange Salad is a light and healthy lunch in the middle of holiday meal season.

Pomegranate Orange Salad
Image and Recipe via Chelsea’s Messy Apron

 

Herb and Citrus Oven Roasted Chicken is perfect for weeknight dinners or the holidays.

Herb and Citrus Oven Roasted Chicken Recipe

 

These Grilled Scallop and Orange Kebabs with Honey-Ginger Glaze are a quick and easy showstopper.

Grilled Scallop and Orange Kebabs with Honey-Ginger Glaze

 

Your family will love these Copycat Orange Fruit Chews made with fresh juice.

Sun-Kissed Fruit Chews Recipe {100% Fruit}

 

Orange Chicken Stir-Fry with Asparagus is way tastier and healthier than picking up takeout.

Orange Chicken Stir-Fry with Asparagus

 

Citrus and Fennel Salad turns in-season produce into a pretty holiday side.

 

This heart-healthy Orange-Rosemary Glazed Salmon will only feel decadent.

Orange-Rosemary Glazed Salmon
Image and Recipe via Cooking Classy

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Frozen Treats in Summer

Healthy Frozen Treats

Keeping your kids (and you!) happy with frozen treats is a part of summer, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be healthy!

These Blackberry Pie Pops are a great way to get the flavor of pie without turning on your oven.

Blackberry Pie Pops
Image and Recipe via Wellnesting

 

This Coffee Coconut Ice Cream is perfect for those with an ice cream maker and a sweet tooth.

Coffee Coconut Ice Cream

 

These Sparkling Raspberry Parfaits are the perfect cold end to an adult meal.

Sparkling Raspberry Parfaits

 

Make this Easy Grapefruit Slush in just minutes when you have a cold craving.

Grapefruit Slush

Easy Grapefruit Slush Recipe

 

This Instant Blueberry Frozen Yogurt is simple and ready to eat in minutes.

Instant Blueberry Frozen Yogurt
Image and Recipe via Dessert Now Dinner Later

 

Raspberry Coconut Popsicles are creamy and rich, but completely healthy.

Raspberry Coconut Popsicles

 

This Pineapple and Coconut Frozen Yogurt is an easy, tropical flavored frozen treat for the whole family.

Pineapple and Coconut Frozen Yogurt
Image and Recipe via The Rustic Willow

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Christmas Treats

Healthy Christmas Treats

This week in food, we gave you healthy Christmas treats and desserts to make for your holiday and office celebrations.

First up was a quick 100-Calorie chocolate treat, Chocolate Peppermint Patties.

Chocolate Peppermint Patties

 

A batch of these Chocolate-Almond Cheesecake Bars makes a great holiday gift.

Chocolate-Almond Cheesecake Bars

 

This Christmas Pudding with Brandy Sauce is a lightened version of the classic.

Christmas Pudding with Brandy Sauce

 

Make these Maple Gingerbread Pots de Crème for a sophisticated take on holiday dessert.

Maple Gingerbread Pots de Crème

 

Make this homemade, moist and delicious Christmas Fruitcake for your celebrations.

Christmas Fruitcake

 

If you’re addicted to these Starbucks’ treats, these Skinny Cranberry Bliss Bars will be your new go-to.

Skinny Cranberry Bliss Bars

 

This Eggnog Cheese Pie with Bourbon Cream satisfies all of your holiday cravings at just 263 calories.

Eggnog Cheese Pie with Bourbon Cream

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