‘Tis the season, and along with that comes plenty of delicious holiday treats including beverages. These treats including fun, seasonal drinks can be enjoyed while maintaining a healthy eating plan throughout the festivities. But how?

Often people don’t realize the extra calories in that Caramel Macchiato (12 oz is 230 calories) or that Candy Cane White Hot Chocolate (14 oz is 440 calories with a 18 grams of fat!). Then if you add a liqueur to the mix, you’re getting a huge number of calories.

Treating yourself to some holiday delicacies occasionally is ideal. By doing this in moderation, you won’t have insatiable cravings for the sweet foods that can sometimes break down your healthy eating habits. So what is the key to not over doing it?

Portion Size is the Number One thing to monitor

Size does matter and it’s all about portion size! Order the smaller size when you are out. If you’re at home, paying close attention to the size of your mugs and glassware (remember my blog post about Mindful Eating). Watch the refills, plus the ‘extras’ like the whipped topping and using egg nog instead of low fat milk for lattes. Large portion sizes leads to the extra calories and not necessarily the increased satisfaction of consuming so much fat and sugar in only a few gulps!

At this festive time of year – keep these tips in mind:

  • While you indulge occasionally, stick to only one of your favourite treats. And make sure you’re stocking up on healthy fruit and veggie treats.
  • So for today, if you choose the festive beverage – savour and enjoy it. And be sure not to chase it down with 4 extra gingerbread cookies!

Alcohol in Moderation

When enjoying holiday parties, the important thing to remember is to consume alcohol in moderation. Alcohol is high in empty calories, which in other words means that it doesn’t contain many nutrients for the amount of calories that it contains.

Try limiting yourself to 1 drink (4 oz serving) a day; some studies have shown that it could be beneficial for your health! Keep these tips in mind:

  • Choose a glass of delicious red wine, because it is full of antioxidants that could help decrease your risk of heart disease and may improve brain function. Moderation is the key.
  • Avoid the before dinner drinks, or go for the non-alcoholic drinks (cranberry juice, sparkling water with a lemon twist) instead…sometimes they can be just as festive and fun!
  • Keep hydrated throughout the holidays with water. Try lemon or lime wedges for a new twist.

Keep these tips top of mind this season! Looking for a new recipe – try out this fun, fruity, festive drink – Raspberry Passion Punch.

Raspberry Passion Champagne Recipe

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups cold water
  • 2 cups cranberry juice cocktail
  • 1 pouch (1/2 of 15.6-g pkg.) Raspberry Drink Mix
  • 2 cups cold champagne
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

How to make it:

  • ADD water and juice cocktail to drink mix in 1.5-L plastic or glass pitcher; stir until mix is dissolved.
  • STIR in champagne.
  • POUR over raspberries in glasses. Serve immediately

If you’d like to make a non-alcoholic version as well, substitute sparkling water or club soda for the champagne! This recipe makes about 6 servings (1 cup each). ENJOY!