By Samantha Flavell
OSWEGO – A holiday that is based on being grateful around an enormous meal made for every relative you are aware of can get to be quite the extravagant and expensive task.
As you prepare for the holiday season here are some tips and tricks for how to have a healthy and affordable holiday meal.
Oswego State Dietitian, Kathryn Szklany gave some insight on how to have a meal that will be affordable as well as delicious for all of your guests and quench everyone’s appetites.
The first bit of advice was to not immediately head for the brand names when buying the groceries for your meal.
“Purchase store brand products,” Szklany said. “This can save you tons of money and you likely won’t notice a difference in taste.”
Szklany also recommended looking to see what vegetables are in season as well as visiting a local farmers’ market.
Farmers’ markets usually will have eggs, cheese, fruits and veggies for less than the standard cost at a grocery store; and it will support local businesses.
There is no need for one person to have the stress of making the entire meal.
Szklany suggests asking guests to bring a dish to pass.
Not only will this provide a variety in the type of food and make sure that everyone will have their favorite dish, but it will also take some pressure off of the host.
This is a bit of advice that many people take advantage of. Oswego State’s Associate Director of Residence Life and Housing, Renee Landers-Jennings suggests the same.
“We have a family get-together at Thanksgiving. Each person brings a dish to pass and that way the person hosting isn’t responsible for paying for or making everything for the meal,” Landers-Jennings said. “For those that don’t cook, they can bring the drinks and desserts.”
Szklany cautions against not having too many desserts and sides. And, watch portion size and try to eat foods that have less sugar.
“Try to lighten up your recipes, use less fat and less sugar to help cut down on calories in your dishes,” Szklany said. “For example, try plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.”
Szklany suggested not going back for seconds to avoid over-stuffing yourself.
Instead, save the food for leftovers to eat the next few days.
She also reminds people to eat slowly.
Not only will you savor your food by eating it slowly and taking the time to enjoy it, but you will also be more mindful of when you become full to stop and not over indulge.
Food is not the only possible holiday issue but a room full of relatives with opposing viewpoints can cause a whole host of different issues.
“We try to stay away from controversial issues or topics that day so no one has hurt feelings or feels unwelcome because of comments made,” Landers-Jennings said.
“During the holiday’s even those family members that don’t get along can be civil for the day,” Landers-Jennings added. “It would only enhance the family togetherness for the day.”