‘Tis the season for tasty treats! But before you overindulge by digging into too many sugary desserts that aren’t good for your waistline or your teeth, check out the fun and healthy holiday treats that we’ve compiled below.
Healthier Cookies That Are Simply Delicious
The holidays just wouldn’t be complete without a variety of warm cookies to enjoy by the fire. And the kids also need to leave a few cookies out for Santa Claus, too! But your homemade cookies don’t need to be packed with teeth-damaging sugar and unhealthy white flour.
Following nut-based cookie recipes and using whole-wheat flour is a great way to incorporate more fiber into your snack. What’s the big deal about fiber? Well, it could help fill you up faster, which means you may not be inclined to eat as many cookies—perfect if you’re watching your calorie intake!
Fun fact: according to experts, you could actually leave out up to half of the sugar that’s in a cookie recipe and you won’t even be able to tell the difference in terms of flavor. If you do want to ensure that your cookies will be plenty sweet, you could use natural sweeteners like applesauce, as opposed to agave and honey, which are high in sugar even though they’re marketed as being great for you.
- Replace sugar cookies with less sugary gingerbread cookies. Use adorable cookie cutters, such as “ninjabread men,” to add even more fun to this tasty treat.
- Opt for almond cookie recipes, as these typically require less sugar than other holiday cookies. Bonus: almonds are great for your overall health!
- Rather than having chocolate chip cookies, consider baking oatmeal cookies. You could even substitute applesauce for the majority of the sugar in your recipe.
Mmm…Chocolate! And Peppermint!
Who doesn’t love a little chocolate every now and then? And chocolate definitely seems to be everywhere during the holidays. But try to stick with treats that are made using dark chocolate rather than milk chocolate. The dark variety will have less sugar but it will still satisfy your craving for something sweet.
Peppermint is another popular winter flavor. Unfortunately, mint-flavored holiday treats, like candy canes, aren’t the best choice for your teeth. But fear not! There are plenty of creative ways to enjoy something minty and sweet. Just use some mint extract when preparing your desserts from scratch. And don’t hesitate to make treats that combine chocolate and peppermint. Yum!
Fun fact: unlike sticky, sugary holiday snacks, chocolate actually tends to wash off your teeth more easily. So consider ditching the candy cane and grabbing a piece of dark chocolate to keep your smile bright throughout the holiday season.
- Make a healthier chocolate bark recipe by using antioxidant-rich dark chocolate, unsweetened coconut, almonds, and dried cranberries.
- Whip up a more nutritious chocolate pudding by using dark chocolate, avocado as your emulsifier, and peppermint flavoring.
- When making delectable chocolate truffles, melt the dark chocolate with water rather than milk to cut back on calories and fat. Then add dried fruits like orange or cranberry, along with some nuts.
- Enjoy a warm hot cocoa that’s better for you by preparing it with dark chocolate, and add in a bit of peppermint to give it even more flavor.
- Grab some fruit, melt some dark chocolate, dip the fruit into the chocolate, and enjoy!
Other Healthy Holiday Treats Even the Kids Will Love
Convincing your kids to eat healthy during the holidays could be a bit of a challenge, but you could ask them to help you make these fun little holiday snacks to entice them to dig into something that’s tasty and good for them:
- Get your kids to eat more fruit by making little Grinch poppers with fresh grapes, bananas, and strawberries. All you have to do is take a toothpick and arrange a grape, a banana slice, and a strawberry from bottom to top. You should end up with what looks like the Grinch’s green face and a Santa hat on his head. This is a snack or dessert that’s just too cute!
- Another way to get your kids to eat healthy is by making pita holiday trees. These are a great appetizer for the entire family, and they’re easy to make. Just cut some pitas into triangles so they look like trees. Spread some avocado hummus onto each pita and add some chopped red pepper to serve as your tree decorations. Then use a pretzel stick to serve as the trunk at the bottom of your tree. Voila!
Keep Your Smile as Bright and Beautiful as Holiday Lights
Hopefully this list of yummy, healthy, and fun treats will help you create the perfect menu for your next holiday party. And remember: eating right and seeing your dentist will help ensure your smile will make the season bright!