Healthy Holiday Snacks for Fall and Winter

Pumpkin and Squash Seeds

Don’t throw away those seeds when you carve Jack O Lanterns or make a fall squash dish. Pumpkin or squash seeds are a good source of protein, fiber, and iron (Fat Secret). Plus, they’re small, so you can eat them one at a time and get a lot of satisfaction out of a small snack. Though pumpkin seeds are a bit high in fat, most of the fat is the heart-healthy unsaturated kind (Fat Secret). To roast pumpkin seeds, coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray or a thin coating of oil and add the seeds. Sprinkle with salt or seasonings and bake at 350° F for approximately 30 minutes.

Clementines

Clementines, sometimes called Christmas oranges, are grown in Florida and come into season in November, just in time for the winter holidays. These sweet-tart fruits are easy to peel and clementine segments add nice color to a relish tray. Plus, clementines are highly nutritious. One fruit has only 35 calories and provides 1.3 g of fiber and 60 percent of the Daily Value of vitamin C (Fat Secret).

Popcorn

Popcorn is great for munching during a family gift party, or as an appetizer while Thanksgiving dinner is being prepared. It also happens to be good for you. Fiber is a whole grain food (Ness, 2009) and is a good source of fiber. Make it yourself and you can control the fat and salt content. Good toppings for popcorn include herb mixtures, cayenne pepper (if you like a little spice) and nutritional yeast flakes.

Sugar Plums

Sugar plums are a classic holiday treat and, in addition to being healthy holiday snacks, are a great way to give your guests a taste of history. They are made of a combination of ground nuts, dried fruit, spices, sugar, and honey. Dried fruit provides fiber, vitamins and minerals, while honey is one of the best sweeteners, since it already contains all the nutrients your body needs to digest sugar correctly (Yeager, 2006). You can find TV Chef Alton Brown’s recipe for sugar plums at FoodTV.com.

References

Fat Secret Staff. (n.d). Dried Pumpkin and Squash Seed Kernels. Fat Secret: All Things Food and Diet. Retrieved 28 October, 2010 from https://www.fatsecret.com/calories-nutrition/usda/dried-pumpkin-and-squash-seed-kernels

American Dietetic Association Staff. (n.d). How Do I Toast Pumpkin Seeds? EatRight.org. Retrieved 28 October, 2010 from https://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6442459091

Fat Secret Staff. (n.d). Clementines. Fat Secret: All Things Food and Diet. Retrieved 28 October, 2010 from https://www.fatsecret.com/calories-nutrition/usda/clementines

Ness, S. (2009, 22 December). Put healthy foods in your holiday eating plans. MayoClinic.org. Retrieved 28 October 2010 from https://www.mayoclinic.com/health/living-with-cancer-blog/MY01119

Yeager, S. (2006). The doctor’s book of food remedies. New York, NY: Roadale.