Healthy Holiday Nibbles and Bites

Santa claus holding bowl with salad, vertical composition, Isolated on a white background

With If you’re anything like me, your willpower takes an extended leave of absence when you’re presented with overflowing tables and trays of tasty holiday appetizers.  Chances are you’ll find me hovering like a ravenous vulture over the snack table, gluttonously shoveling handfuls of everything delectable into my mouth.  No, I do not have an off button for salty or savoury snacks.

Indeed, health conscious students can find the holidays challenging.  With so many mouth-watering temptations lurking everywhere, the fear of the consequences and repercussions of holiday over-indulgence is intense.

Have no fear! Nutritious choices for holiday appetizers and snacks are here! Instead of heart burn, insomnia, and indigestion, plan ahead to ensure a more settled digestive tract.

  • Raw nuts in the shell, with the aid of a good old-fashioned nutcracker, slows you down and makes you work for your food by having to crack the nuts free of their shells before popping them in your mouth for a satisfying crunch.
  • More Mandarin oranges means more Vitamin C to ward off the holiday germs people are unwittingly sharing. One a day keeps the flu away.
  • Make smaller portions of dips and sauces if you’re eating on your own so you don’t end up consuming a giant bowl of dip all by yourself. Guilty as charged.
  • Enjoy the pleasure of sucking a candy cane while studying—not only does the peppermint scent energize your brain, but the candy lasts a good deal longer than say, a chocolate melting instantly in your mouth.
  • Unleash your artistic skills and create an artfully arranged plate of wreaths or Christmas trees out of bright, crunchy chopped vegetables. Make an arty health statement.  Raw vegetables need never be boring again, and you can eat as many as you want without fear of heart failure.
  • Kick up the nutrition notch on dips by making spinach, artichoke, and Tzatziki with cucumber and garlic. Extra healthy points for preparing it with low fat yogurt instead of sour cream.
  • Roast cauliflower coated in aromatic curry and other spices is a sweet and savoury holiday nibble.
  • Make staying hydrated more pleasurable by adding slices of cucumber, orange, or cranberries to your water pitcher for flavour, in between beer and wine beverages.
  • Opt for anti-oxidant, rich, dark chocolate instead of sugary white or milk chocolate.
  • Make a giant bowl of spicy tomato salsa instead of a fat-filled, heavy cheese ball for dipping. The spicier the salsa the better the sweatier detox!
  • Chicken kebobs with a light Tzatziki are a great protein-filled choice for party snacks.

Luckily, over-indulging over the Christmas season is not the most horrible thing that can occur in a student’s life.  Do your best to be mindful about how much you’re eating and keep food portions in check.  But also relish the abundance of goodness we have available at our fingertips and feel the gratitude for the delicious foods we are able to eat.  Complaining about a few extra pounds or too much temptation in front of us is insulting to the richness of the universe.  Gratitude, on the other hand, is the finest gift of all, no matter what the season.