Simple Substitutions for a Happy & Healthy Holiday

It's important to monitor your caloric intake during the holidays so you remain within the pregnancy weight guidelines set by your doctor. Try these easy tips and ingredient substitutions to cut back while still enjoying your favorite treats. Tips courtesy of We Can! of the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.

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Go For Greens

Blaine Moats

Go For Greens

Snack on something green at holiday parties. Fill your snack plate with carrot sticks, celery, cauliflower, and broccoli instead of chocolates and other desserts. Also, avoid full-fat dressings and vegetable dips -- stick with fat-free or reduced-fat dip instead.

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Milk It

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Milk It

Pour a glass of fat-free milk every morning to curb hunger cravings and eat less all day. If you prefer eggnog, try sipping a low-fat version or cutting your regular eggnog with fat-free milk.

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Use Cocoa Instead of Chocolate

Patricia Mohr Kramer

Use Cocoa Instead of Chocolate

Get sneaky with your holiday treats by replacing unsweetened baking chocolate with unsweetened cocoa powder. For every 1 ounce of chocolate, add 3 tablespoons of cocoa and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Not even your kids will notice the missing chocolate!

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Use Evaporated Milk Instead of Cream

Peter Krumhardt

Use Evaporated Milk Instead of Cream

An easy way to save calories in rich sauces and desserts: Substitute fat-free evaporated milk for cream. This is a very easy adjustment with big calorie savings.

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Use Apple Butter Instead of Butter

Andy Lyons

Use Apple Butter Instead of Butter

Substitute 1/2 cup of apple butter or applesauce for 1 cup of butter, margarine, or oil in baked goods to help cut the calories in your holiday sweets. You'll be able to indulge a little guilt-free, and your family will never know the difference!

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Nibble Lightly

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Nibble Lightly

Remember -- all calories count toward your recommended daily total. During the holiday season, women tend to add drink, dessert, and other extra calories to their diet without adjusting their routine meals and snacks. This is an easy way to pack on the pounds, so remember to always eat in moderation and be watchful of mindless snacking and calorie-rich seasonal drinks like eggnog.

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Don't Skip the Exercise

Don't Skip the Exercise

The weather may be frightful this time of year, but it's especially important to stay active during the holidays. Whether you take a walk with a loved one to admire the holiday lights, hit the treadmill every morning, or even just sing and dance to carols in your living room, make sure you get moving every day. Your baby will appreciate the boost!

Copyright © 2009 Meredith Corporation.