Preparing a Healthy Easter Meal - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Preparing a Healthy Easter Meal

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The traditional Easter dinner usually consists of ham, potatoes and green beans. If you are trying to stick to a New Year's resolution or get your beach body ready, the Easter feast can easily become a calorie overload. So, healthy eating coach Kelsey Herrick with Family Wellness shares some tips and tricks to make your Easter meal a bit healthier.

Herrick says for holiday meals, you should aim to use portion control and the "My Plate" method. "My Plate" illustrates the five food groups that are the building blocks for a healthy diet using a familiar image—a place setting for a meal.

Herrick also to be aware of what foods have high sodium and not to add extra salt because many people like to add their own. Ham is a prime example and using portion control can still allow you to indulge in those traditional food items.

Additionally, Herrick says to always try to use fresh or frozen vegetable compared to canned veggies because there is less sodium. If you do decide to use canned vegetables, you can rinse the veggie off. Rinsing can cut the sodium content down by 30%.

Mixing high fiber vegetables with traditional sides like mashed potatoes can make the side healthier and leave you feeling full longer. This morning we made the recipe below.

Guilt-Free Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 3 servings

Calories per serving: 110

Fat per serving: 1g

Nutritional Info Per Serving: 110 Calories, ~1g Fat, 5g Fiber, 1g Sugar, 5g Protein


  • 5 cloves of garlic (more if you like it super garlicky)
  • 1 medium-sized russet potato (about 12 oz.)
  • 5 cups cauliflower florets (about 1 head)
  • 2-3 Tbsp skim milk
  • 1 Tbsp light butter
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Chopped chives (optional)
  • Fresh herbs – thyme, rosemary, parsley (optional)
  • 2% Greek Yogurt (1 Tbsp per serving, optional)


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add the potatoes, garlic and cauliflower to the pot (make sure there's enough water to cover the veggies). Cover and simmer/cook until the veggies are tender – about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Drain water, and transfer the potatoes, cauliflower and garlic to a large bowl.
  3. To the bowl, add the milk, butter, salt & pepper and mash until smooth. Top with chives, herbs, and a dollop of Greek Yogurt. Enjoy!

Lighter Green Bean Casserole

Prep      15 min.

Total      45 min.

 Serves 6

Serves: about 1/2 cup each


1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Healthy Request® Condensed Healthy Request® Cream of Mushroom Soup

1/4 cup milk (2% fat)

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 pound cut fresh green beans (about about 3 cups), cooked and drained

2 tablespoons crushed French's® French Fried Onions

How to Make It

1 Stir the soup, milk, onion powder, black pepper, soy sauce and green beans in a 1 1/2-quart casserole.

2 Bake at 350°F. for 25 minutes or until the mixture is hot and bubbling.  Stir the bean mixture.  Top with the onions.

3 Bake for 5 minutes or until the onions are golden brown.


Why Ham?

How did ham became the go-to Easter meal; why not turkey? About.com suggests ham won its place because pork was traditionally slaughtered in the fall and cured through the winter. The curing process would take a long time, it says, so hams were normally ready around Easter.

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