Christmastime and the holiday season means a lot of us will be eating and overeating and putting on a few pounds. The State Health Department is encouraging Missourians to enjoy themselves at the table during the holidays, but to plan on putting some healthy foods on that menu.

Department registered dietician Pat Kramer says there are several ways to make meals healthier. They include putting a new twist on traditional favorites by adding fruits and vegetables to a lot of foods, suggesting putting less bread in stuffing and filling the void with onions, celery, dried cranberries, or other fruits and vegetables.

Kramer also suggests using low-fat buttermilk or low-sodium chicken stock in place of cream or whole milk in dishes like mashed potatoes, whipped sweet potatoes, or butternut squash. In addition, Kramer wants people to consider smaller portions, perhaps using smaller plates and bowls so people might not notice they are eating less.

Download/Listen: Steve Walsh report (:60 MP3)