Meal planning: healthier holidays

Transcript - Meal Planning – Healthier holidays

Transcript - Meal Planning – Healthier holidays

On screen: We see our registered dietitian reading a question.

Nadine Azer
Montréal, Quebec
We love celebrating the holidays with friends over food.
Any tips on how to enjoy all the holiday meals and still keep it healthy?

VO Zannat: As part of the Eat Well campaign, we have a question from Nadine Azer of Montréal, Quebec: "We love celebrating the holidays with friends over food. Any tips on how to enjoy all the holiday meals and still keep it healthy?" Christine?

Zannat Reza
Registered Dietitian

Christine Cushing
TV Chef and Author

VO Christine: Holiday is a time, lots of gatherings, lots of family and friends and lots and lots of food. So I say this is not the time to be denying ourselves of those classics that we love. So enjoy the eggnog, and I say focus on the portion. Diminish the amount, but enjoy it.

VO Zannat: You know, another great trick in terms of keeping those portions in check is to use the right plate. If you take a look at the plates that we have, the one with the rim looks nice and full. We've got the exact same amount of food on the other plate, but you know, it just doesn't look right. It doesn't look like it's enough.

On screen: Pan of camera on the rimmed plate filled with chicken, peas and mashed potatoes and on the plate without a rim. Pull-back shot with the two plates side by side for a comparison.

VO Christine: It's unbelievable what a difference it makes.

VO Zannat: Yeah, a little bit of an optical illusion. So choose the right plate.

VO Christine: And along those lines, stay away from the foods that you can get any time a year that are high calorie. I mean, you can have cheesecake anytime. But how often can you get amazing gingerbread cookies? That's what I like to keep my appetite for, the holiday classics.

On screen: Close-up of a plate filled with gingerbread cookies in the shape of stars, gingerbread men, Christmas trees.

VO Zannat: And I love making small tweaks. So, I love mashed potatoes, but often times, I'll mash up sweet potatoes for that extra little boost of vitamin A. Or you can roast up sweet potato wedges.

On screen: Close-up of sweet potato wedges.

VO Christine: Absolutely. And always there's green, we can't forget the green. It's not all about the orange and the brown. Lots of good green veggies, don't be afraid to throw in a little spinach. It's great.

On screen: Close-up of a spinach salad with roasted almonds.

VO Zannat: I love that. And of course, the holidays are not just about eating, there's also some drinking that goes on.

VO Christine: Have you heard about me?

VO Zannat: And those calories can definitely add up. So, what I'd recommend is to alternate it with something like sparkling water with some slices of lime.

On screen: Close-up of a pitcher with slices of lime to which sparkling water is added.

VO Christine: So true, I love this particular drink that falls into that category. So I take a few cranberries, frozen, instead of ice cubes. Add a bit of bubbly water, a splash of lime and then top it off with some cranberry juice. Cinnamon stick added, and it's so refreshing, festive, and it really feels like you want to drink this.

On screen: Close-up of a martini glass, to which frozen cranberries, bubbly water and a splash of lime are added. It is then topped with some cranberry juice and a cinnamon stick.

VO Zannat: Beautiful.

VO Christine: For more healthy holiday tips, visit us online at

Eat Well
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