Taste-testing can add inches and pounds

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During the holidays extra tiny tastes of food may not make a difference in the short run, but little bits from now through New Year’s can result in unwelcome weight gains. During the holiday season I find it hard to resist sampling the food I am preparing or baking. Plus, there are more special social occasions with great food. 

Here are a few strategies to help curb your tendency to take many tiny tastes:

• Chew gum when cooking or baking.

• Volunteer to take fruit and vegetable trays to family dinners and parties to ensure that there are less fatty or sugary foods to snack on. 

• Be the last in the food line, taking a plate of food, eating it, and moving away from the buffet table.

• Select one favorite holiday treat to take to each event, spend a day preparing and freeze separate desserts. This gives you more time to spend decorating or making non-food presents.

• Tell yourself that food tasting in public is not safe.

• Write every bite down to see what you have consumed. (This is tough.)

Develop a strategy for buying presents. Make a gift list, budget for each gift and brainstorm ideas before you go to the store. 

Alice Henneman, MS, RD Extension Educator, University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension has a short video, “Tiny Tastes Can Total Big Calories over the Winter Holidays,” lancaster.unl.edu. illustrating how tiny bites can add up to excess pounds. If you cannot access it, give me a call or e-mail at gangotti@uky.edu and I’ll e-mail it to you.

Silicone baking utensils

Consider giving silicone baking utensils as a holiday gift. They are fun to use, easy to clean and come in a variety of shapes and colors. Silicone pans tolerate temperatures from freezing to a 450 degrees Fahrenheit oven. They are safe for a conventional oven, a microwave oven, and the dishwasher.

The brightly colored pans do not need greasing before baking. Items cooked in them easily come out by slightly twisting the pan. Pans are available in many shapes and sizes, including bundt pans, angel food cake pans, muffin pans, and irregular shapes such as a star shape.

You might want to include a tip with the gift: Since these pans wobble when putting in the oven, place on a baking sheet. Kitchen utensils also come in silicone. Consider giving a new silicone oven mitt, pastry brush, Wisk, spatula or strainer.

Upcoming dates

All events will be held at the Extension office, 500 Floyd Drive, Carrollton unless otherwise stated.

Dec. 3 –Desserts from Extension Homemakers to National Guard Armory by 4 p.m.

Dec. 5 – Extension Homemaker Dues Deadline $7/year.

Dec. 8 – 6-8:30 p.m. Extension Homemakers holiday social for members.


Grace Angotti is Carroll Co. Extension agent for family and consumer sciences. Call her at (502) 732-7030 or send e-mail to gangotti@uky.edu.