Although the holidays may not seem like a time to be concerned about healthy eating, there are delicious ways to ensure you get your daily intake of vitamins. Dairy is a great example of a tasty, but often overlooked, source of essential nutrients. holiday cooking.

“Even when we’re not celebrating the holidays, most Americans consume too many foods that are high in calories but low in nutrients,”Alyssa, a registered dietitian at the Dairy Council of Florida, said that she is a certified dietitian. “One way to lighten holiday fare is to focus on serving nutrient-rich choices from the food groups people need most. Those food groups are low-fat and fat-free dairy foods, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.”

Research shows that an average holiday meal with all the trimmings can have as many as 3,000 calories and as much as 265 grams of fat. This can quickly add weight — studies show that Americans often gain between one and two pounds during holidays.

Research shows that drinking at least three cups of yogurt, milk, or cheese per day can help people meet their daily calcium and potassium recommendations. It may also reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases like osteoporosis and hypertension. You can substitute low-fat milk for dairy products during holidays to receive the same vitamins, but less calories. Look into low-fat and fat free cheeses, low fat or skim dairy options, low fat or skim butter, fat-free plain Greek yogurt, and low-fat or fat flavored Greek yogurt.

“Even people with lactose intolerance do not have to miss out on the enjoyment of dairy foods during the holidays or the essential nutrients that dairy provides all year long,” says Greenstein. “Lactose-free milk is real milk with the lactose (or sugar) removed. It contains the same nine essential nutrients as regular milk, including calcium, protein and vitamin D.”

You don’t have to sacrifice your good taste for health this holiday season. This holiday recipe is nutrient-rich and you can share it with your family members.

Vanilla Egg Nog

3 eggs (or 3/4 cup pasteurized egg product)

1/3 cup sugar

4 cups low-fat milk

1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

Grated whole nutmeg

Blend eggs, sugar and milk in a blender. Blend the eggs, sugar, milk, yogurt and vanilla until it becomes frothy. Add the milk, yogurt, vanilla and salt to the bowl. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg. More recipes are available at