5 Healthy Holiday Snacks for Your Dorm Room

5 Healthy Holiday Snacks for Your Dorm Room

Get into the holiday spirit now with these tips for bringing a festive cheer to your dorm room or small apartment.

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Add festive flavors, like cinnamon, pumpkin and pomegranate, to healthy snacks to get in the holiday spirit.

1. Enjoy pre-class noshes to get in the spirit.

Rachel Begun, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, suggested pairing Greek yogurt with pear slices and pomegranate seeds for a holiday-inspired, grab-and-go breakfast. Begun said you might also "mimic the flavors of your favorite pie" by mixing in pumpkin pie spice blend, or apple slices with walnuts and cinnamon.

2. Stick to the appetizer tray.

Lara Rondinelli-Hamilton, co-author of "Healthy Calendar Diabetic Cooking, 2nd edition" and a registered dietitian, said healthy pre-dinner snacks, like fresh-cut vegetables, fruit, nuts shrimp cocktail and salads are the best mini refrigerator items for your dorm room. Make it festive by arranging the noshes on a platter and inviting your friends over for a holiday-movie-thon.

3. Add holiday flavors to healthy snacks.

Heather Wolf, creator of the Shake a Snack app for the iPhone and iPod touch, suggested sprinkling cinnamon on peanut butter and celery, or pouring pomegranate juice with a touch of lime into a pitcher for a festive party beverage. Slices of red and green pepper arranged on tray with hummus are also a fun, healthy snack idea to bring to a dorm room get-together.

4. Cue the Nutcracker-style crunch.

Derek Doepker, a fitness blogger at Excuse Proof Fitness, suggests these easy-to-make spicy nuts for a festive dorm room treat:

Take sliced almonds and put them in a plastic bag. Add a pinch of unrefined salt, a few drops of olive or coconut oil, and desired spices, like rosemary, curry, and Italian seasoning. Shake up the bag and serve in a small dish.

5. Don't forget the hot chocolate.

Use your shared dorm kitchen to make this healthy spin on a classic favorite from Rondinelli-Hamilton's book. Don't have access to a kitchen? Save the recipe for break and surprise your family with your newfound kitchen skills.

Almond Joy Hot Chocolate
Makes: 4
Serving Size: 1 cup with 2 tablespoons whipped topping and 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
Prep Time: 15 min.
Ingredients:

  • 1/4 Cup sliced almonds
  • 4 Cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 Cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 Cup Splenda Sugar Blend
  • 1/2 Tsp. coconut extract
  • 1/2 Cup fat-free whipped topping

Directions:

1. Add almonds to a dry sauté pan over medium-high heat and sauté until lightly toasted. Set aside to cool.

2. Add almond milk, cocoa powder, Splenda, and coconut extract to a blender and blend until incorporated and slightly foamy.

3. Add hot chocolate mixture to a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer.

4. Add one cup of hot chocolate to a coffee mug, top with 2 Tablespoons whipped topping and sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon cooled, toasted almonds.

5. Repeat for three remaining coffee mugs.

Indulge once in a while -- it's the holidays!

Of course, even the best of health experts know that sometimes indulgence is simply a necessity. When the force of holiday treats simply cannot be ignored, Registered Dietitian Laura Cipullo said it's OK to go for it.

"If cookie aromas are distracting you, grab a glass of milk and three cookies," said Cipullo , who is also the author of the blog 'Mom Dishes It Out'. "Sit down, savor the cookies and the nostalgic memories!"

Quick Tips

  • Add festive flavors, like cinnamon, pumpkin and pomegranate, to healthy snacks to get in the holiday spirit.
  • Choose healthy alternatives, like making spiced nuts at home, to calorie-laden dishes that are popular to holiday get-togethers.
  • Prep healthy hot chocolate in your shared dorm kitchen or small apartment for a toasty treat.

Almond Joy Hot Chocolate Recipe Copyright © 2012 American Diabetes Association. From "Healthy Calendar Diabetic Cooking, 2nd edition." Reprinted with permission from The American Diabetes Association. To order this book call 1-800-232-6733 or order online at ShopDiabetes.org.

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