Library talk focuses on eating healthy during holidays

Old Southwest/Columbia

By YIQIAN ZHANG

neighborhoods@ColumbiaMissourian.com

You should never go to a holiday dinner starving.

“We tend to over eat, but you don’t want to save up,” said Paula Vandelicht, a dietitian from Iowa-based grocer Hy-Vee. “The dinner isn’t an all-you-can-eat buffet.”

Vandelicht and Kayla Otteson, another Hy-Vee dietitian, talked about healthy eating during the holidays on Thursday, Nov. 18 at the Columbia Public Library.

Lots of people eat unhealthily during the holidays, said Vandelicht. From Halloween to New Year’s, people often consume a lot of high-calorie foods — however, there are many things that you can control in your diet.

Vandelicht said people can replace higher calorie foods such as potatoes and gravy with lower calorie fruits and vegetables such as carrots and celery to save calories during their normal meals, Vandelicht said.

She also suggested switching to products labeled as “light.”

“The little differences that can be found when switching to light bread, light juice, light whipped topping, etc., can add up,” Vandelicht said.

People should also drink in moderation, said Vandelicht, noting that there are 100 calories in one glass of wine, one shot of alcohol or an eight-ounce beer.

Vandelicht introduced the “plate method.” “You should fill half of your plate with vegetable and fruits, a quarter of it with meat, and a quarter with starch,” she said.

Staying active is by far the most effective way to stay healthy. Exercising after a meal helps burn calorie as well.

Otteson and Vandelicht introduced and demonstrated two low-calorie recipes (below) for vegetable dip and mousse and served them up.

“I like it,” said Dolores Reddick, after tasting the mousse. “It’s getting close to Christmas season, and being diabetic it’s nice to learn these recipes.”

Creamy Pumpkin Mousse

1 can solid packed pure pumpkin (15 ounce can)

1 package (6-serving size) instant sugar-free vanilla pudding mix

¼ cup low fat (1 percent) milk

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 cups frozen light whipped topping, thawed

In a medium bowl, with an electric beater on medium speed, beat the pumpkin, pudding mix, milk, and cinnamon until well blended.

Fold in the whipped topping until thoroughly blended, then spoon into a serving bowl. Cover loosely and chill until ready to serve.

Very Veggie Dip

1 package Hy-Vee (or other) frozen chopped spinach, thawed

1 (17 oz) container Greek yogurt

1 package Lipton vegetable soup mix

variety of vegetables, cut up if needed

Place thawed spinach in a dish towel and squeeze out remaining water. Continue process until spinach is dry.

Mix spinach with yogurt and soup mix.

Serve with a variety of fresh-cut vegetables.

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