With holiday season upon us, it’s time to plan some sensational menus to celebrate with friends and family. But while there’s no better feeling than getting together with loved ones, these gatherings often lead us to consume more than 4,000 extra calories. It’s no surprise that North Americans gain an average of seven to 12 pounds during this season.

Amanda Burton, a registered dietitian at Recipe for Health, an online resource for nutrition counseling and consulting, has the following menu and drink ideas that will keep the celebrations going, while keeping calories in check:

• Think low and small: When stocking your bar for holiday parties, think low and small. Consider adding low- or no-calorie drinks such as sparkling water, diet drinks and small portion options – like those Coke mini-cans – for your friends and family to enjoy.

• Opt for a fresh fruit dessert instead of a baked one: A single slice of pumpkin pie is packed with about 350 calories. A fresh fruit sorbet: only about 100 calories.

• Grilled treats: Grilling meats is a great way to reduce calories, without reducing taste. Consider serving barbecued turkey breast as a tasty alternative to turkey covered in gravy.


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