press release

November 4, 2013

Christopher Brand
[email protected]


Easy ways to eat healthier this holiday season

Carlisle, PA – ‘Tis the season for plenty of holiday treats and large family meals! If you and your family are trying to eat healthier this holiday season, the nutritionists at GIANT Food Stores and MARTIN’S Food Markets are offering plenty of ways to make better- for-you choices, while still allowing yourself to indulge in your favorite holiday dishes in moderation.

Check out these ideas to lighten up your holiday festivities:

  • One of the most important things to remember is that it’s all about moderation. If you love your aunt’s famous cheesecake, enjoy a smaller piece of it and forgo another glass of wine or that chocolate chip cookie.
  • If you go to a party hungry, you are more likely to overeat. So instead of skipping a meal earlier in the day, eat a light lunch or snack to curb your appetite beforehand.
  • Before plunging into the buffet table at your next holiday party, first take stock at what’s available. Walk the buffet line to see what your options are and choose the lighter, healthier options to fill your plate like non-starchy vegetables, green salads, broth-based soups, grilled, baked, or roasted poultry options and seafood, and fruit for dessert.
  • Fill half of your plate with seasonal fall vegetables, one quarter of your plate with lean protein, and finish the remaining quarter with a starch, such as potatoes or corn. Try some of the season’s best veggies like Brussels sprouts, cauliflower or broccoli.
  • Build a better veggie tray. Try marinating your veggies in a light marinade of balsamic vinegar, olive oil and a mixture of spices. Think beyond carrot and celery sticks and get adventurous with crudités of very lightly steamed asparagus, pea pods, jicama, or roasted red peppers. Variety in shape also adds interest!
  • Keep your portion size in check when it comes to cheese. Remember, one ounce is a serving of cheese. There are also a lot of excellent flavored and textured reduced fat cheeses to enjoy. Try choosing sharp cheese instead of mild as it has more flavor punch per ounce, so you can use less.
  • Stuffing is often a favorite side dish with several opportunities to make it healthier. Try swapping out white bread with whole grain bread to increase the fiber content. You can also cut sodium and calories from your favorite stuffing recipe by choosing low or reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth varieties. Be creative with fruits and vegetables in your stuffing - mushrooms, cranberries or butternut squash are great to mix in.
  • Sparkling beverages can provide an alternative or an addition to alcoholic ones. Feature a pitcher of sparkling fruit flavored seltzer water (calorie and sodium- free) dressed up with floating cranberries and orange slices. Add a little cranberry or pomegranate juice for color. Don’t forget ice water as an option for your guests.
  • Pumpkin is so versatile! Use it in breads, muffins, smoothies, and of course, pie. Be sure to use 100% pumpkin puree or canned solid-pack pumpkin. Swap out oil and butter for pumpkin in baking recipes without sacrificing taste or texture.
  • There are also plenty of lower calorie substitutes for your baking recipes too. Try adding almond milk in place of regular milk to add an extra nutty flavor to your dish. Whole eggs can also be swapped with egg whites and applesauce instead of oil. Eliminate the whole milk or heavy cream and use evaporated skim milk in its place. And instead of sour cream, cream cheese or mayonnaise, try plain non- fat Greek yogurt.
  • Enjoy more winter fruits for dessert this holiday season. Incorporate clementines, tangerines, persimmons, and pomegranates into a dessert fruit platter. This will help to add more fiber and fewer calories than traditional desserts – filling you up without filling you out!
  • In addition, remember to stay active in between all of your holiday festivities. Exercise is a great way to not only prevent weight gain, but also to relieve holiday stress. If you have a big party later in the day, take a walk around your neighborhood or hit the gym for your favorite class to burn calories. The holidays are to be enjoyed and you can begin to show your commitment to supporting wellness with the gift of lighter choices.

    For more healthy tips visit and Or stop into your local GIANT/MARTIN’S to pick up the free holiday edition of Healthy Ideas Magazine.

    Editor’s note: If interested in an interview with one of GIANT/MARTIN’S nutritionists about healthy holiday entertaining, please contact Chris Brand at 717-240-1017 or [email protected].


    Celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2013, GIANT/MARTIN’S, headquartered in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, operates nearly 200 grocery stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia, under the names of GIANT Food Stores and MARTIN’S Food Markets. GIANT/MARTIN’S employs more than 31,000 associates. Founded in 1923, GIANT and MARTIN’S have a long-standing commitment to eradicate hunger and improve the quality of life for children in addition to working with hundreds of local organizations annually. The company was recognized for its leadership in the fight against hunger with the Golden Grocer Award by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In addition, GIANT/MARTIN’S is one of the top ten fund-raisers in the country for local Children’s Miracle Network hospitals. GIANT and MARTIN’S are Ahold companies. For more information visit and Find us on Facebook at and