December 2012 Issue

Savoring Tradition
By Judith Riddle
Today’s Dietitian
Vol. 14 No. 12 P. 6

This holiday season, just like any other, clients will be making shopping lists, looking for new recipes, or dusting off old favorites in preparation of the big meal they plan to share with family and friends.

Many of the traditional ingredients used to cook those foods are healthful, and clients need to be reminded of this. Apples used to make apple pies, cakes, and baked apple desserts; cranberries used to make homemade cranberry sauce; cornmeal used to make cornbread and cornbread stuffing; and sweet potatoes and yams used to make pies, casseroles, and soufflés are all delicious, traditional holiday ingredients brimming with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.

The key for clients who must watch their weight or follow dietary restrictions is to slim down these all-time favorites while still enjoying their taste and family traditions. Our feature story “Traditional Holiday Foods” by Constance Brown-Riggs, MSEd, RD, CDE, CDN, reminds dietitians to encourage clients to focus on the positive aspects of their favorite holiday foods; not on what they can’t eat but on what they can eat. Clients can enjoy apple and pumpkin pie, sweet potato dishes, cornbread and cornbread stuffing, and cranberry sauce as long as they slightly modify the recipes to reduce the saturated fat, sugar, and sodium content. The article includes a brief history of these and other traditional holiday foods, their nutrient content, tips on buying and storing them for optimal freshness, and new recipes to try.

And whether clients stay home or travel for the holidays, physical activity should be on the menu. Our Focus on Fitness article, “Exercise and Holiday Travel,” offers great tips on how to include exercise with family and friends to burn off unwanted calories.

This issue also includes a look ahead to 2013’s marketplace of products and services in our annual Buyers’ Guide. Enjoy the issue!