Moderation is key to healthy holiday season

With ‘sugar season’ officially started, moderation is the key to staying healthy. (Photo by Timothy Wolff on

(Nov. 2, 2023) — Halloween may be over, but the wild ride of a sugar high it brings was just the beginning of the sugar season. Thanksgiving and Christmas parties are not far behind.

It’s not surprising that afterward, January is statistically the month with the highest incidence of heart attacks and strokes. But there are ways to avoid overdoing it through two months of holiday festivities.

A good message for kids (and adults) is moderation and protection. Limit sugar to less than 25 added grams daily and only eat one dessert per day over the holidays.

The binge at the holidays is bad for the waistline, and it’s hard on the liver. Remember: Your liver is the filter for your body.

If you’re going to eat desserts, make them yourself. Offer guests alternatives to store-bought treats. Try plain yogurt with berries or a drizzle of local fresh honey or maple syrup. Use real butter and organic coconut sugar. How about baked apples with cinnamon and honey.

Stay away from processed foods and treats that pack a lot of additives to extend their shelf life. The additives are bad for children and adults.

Make your own goodies when you can, so you can control the ingredients.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Makes 32 cookies
(8 grams of added sugar per cookie)

  • ¾ c. organic coconut sugar (try Trader Joe’s) or regular brown sugar
  • 4 oz. softened butter or butter alternative
  • 1 egg (or 1 T ground flaxseed with 2 T water; let set for 2 minutes)
  • 1 c. rolled oats
  • 1 c. plus 2 T flour or gluten-free flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1½ c. dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar together. Add all other ingredients and mix together; don’t overmix.

Bake 10-12 minutes.

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Cindy Gershen
Cindy Gershen

Cindy Gershen is an educator, nutritionist, chef, and co-author of “Fat Chance Cookbook.”