Fitting in Sweets

Holidays and other special occasions can be tough when it comes to desserts. Whether it is cake for a birthday, pie for thanksgiving, or ice cream on the 4th of July, sweets are everywhere.

Holidays are special occasion, so if you’d like to enjoy a small serving of your favorite dessert, you can.

It is important to remember that most sweets have a lot of carbohydrate in a small portion so you’ll want to keep portion sizes small. You can work a sweet treat into your meal plan but substituting a small portion of dessert for other carbohydrate already in your meal plan.

For example, if you want a small serving of pumpkin pie, then pass on eating a dinner roll or sweet potatoes during the main course.

Tips for Desserts During the Holidays

Try these tips this holiday season. They can help you manage your sweet tooth when dessert is served:

  • Decide ahead of time what and how much you will eat and how you will handle social pressure ("No thank you, I'm too full.").
  • Share one portion of dessert with someone else, and scrape off any high-calorie whipped-cream topping or extra frosting.
  • Volunteer to bring your favorite dessert to social functions. Some ideas are plain cookies, baked apples, or sugar-free puddings.
  • Is there someone else at the party who is trying to watch what they eat? Avoid tempting sweets and ask them to join you for a walk while dessert is out on the table.
  • And if you decide to have a treat, remember to cut back on the other carbohydrate in your meal to help keep blood glucose levels on track.

Revising Recipes

There are ways to revise many dessert recipes so they are healthier and still great-tasting. Many times, you can replace up to half of the sugar in a recipe with a sugar substitute.

You can also try cutting down on sugar and increasing the use of cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and other sweet-tasting spices and flavorings.

Replace half of the fat in your recipe with applesauce or baby-food prunes when making chocolate brownies, cakes, or cookies.

These tricks will help you make your recipes a little bit healthier. However, you still must keep the portion small. Also, keep in mind that replacing fat with fruit ingredients increases the carbohydrate content.

Search for healthier versions of recipes using our Recipes for Healthy Living resource. When searching other places for recipes, pick recipes that give you the serving size and the amount of carbohydrate.

  • Last Reviewed: August 1, 2013
  • Last Edited: July 11, 2014

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