Christmas treats for your office: Healthy alternatives to beat the sweets this holiday season

The recent news Hostess Brands is shutting down reminds us that, when it comes to snacking, our past is littered with guilty pleasures. What was your favorite – Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Sno Balls or Hostess CupCakes, a perennial smash hit at children’s birthday parties?

Did you know Twinkies were No. 1 on Time magazine’s list of the Top 10 Iconic Junk Foods? They’ve also been featured prominently in movies such as Ghostbusters and Zombieland. (A common urban legend claims Twinkies have an infinite shelf life because they’re packed with so many preservatives; the truth is they can last unspoiled for at least a month.)

Nostalgia aside, what, you may ask, is all this talk about non-nutritious treats doing in a blog about wellness at work? It’s our way of reminding you that, if you’re planning on having goodies in your office this holiday season, stay away from no-nos, including fudge, creamy cheeses, eggnog and spinach dips made with mayonnaise, cheese and sour cream.

The Christmas season already makes it tough for employees to maintain healthy eating habits without these added temptations in the workplace. According to some studies, the average person can consume an extra 1,000 calories a day during the holiday season!

But foregoing the most high-calorie, high-fat nutritional “snack mines” doesn’t mean your office treats can’t be delicious. Instead, let your employees try some of these tasty options.

  • Fruit kebabs – Place on a skewer a combination of orange slices, apple slices, grapes, chunks of melon and/or pieces of banana. For a little added sweetness, roll the finished kebab in icing sugar. Voila! Fruity Christmas icicles!
  • Krab salad – All this takes is some imitation crab, celery, reduced fat mayo, onions and seasoning. Serve as a dip or a spread with crackers.
  • Pretzel sticks with a honey mustard dip – Fast, easy and always popular.
  • Salsa and tortilla chips – Much better than a spinach dip, this snack is also rich in vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants.
  • Chocolate fondue with fruit dippers – Sure, it’s a little ambitious, but great fun! You can use berries, banana slices or orange segments – which have almost no calories – and the chocolate has heart-healthy antioxidants.
  • Christmas cookies! – Yes, Virginia, healthy Christmas cookies are not an oxymoron. Here are some recipes for low-fat, low-calorie Christmas cookies from Taste of Home and more healthy and scrumptious cookie recipes from Eating Well.

 

 

About Ken Dallafior

Ken Dallafior is Senior Vice President, Group Business and Corporate Marketing at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM). Dallafior leads BCBSM's group sales force, oversees corporate marketing and product development, and develops and implements key corporate strategies. He also provides leadership to critical sales operations such as agent relations and commissions, sales incentives and complex issue resolution for group customers and sales agents. In addition to working in the insurance industry for nearly two decades, Dallafior played professional football from 1982 to 1992. He is founder and board member of the Detroit Lions Courage House.
 
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