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Nutrition Times
December 2021
What Do You Want to Eat for Christmas Dinner?
Most families have their favorite Christmas food traditions that everyone looks forward to. No doubt, with great anticipation - as food and eating not only satisfies hunger, but is also a source of enjoyment and celebration. 
In Alberta, celebration foods often include turkey or other meat or fish-based meals (with all the trimmings) and many dairy-based foods like pumpkin pie and shortbread cookies. If you, or other family members, have been choosing more plant-based foods in recent times, you may want to change things up a bit for special occasions also. With a little extra effort and planning, you can support your new eating habits and still enjoy many traditional foods. Below are some helpful tips for creating new food traditions:
  • Simply add an alternative plant-based main course or sides to your traditional menu that everyone can eat, expanding their food choices as well as your own.
  • Don’t get rid of or make any big changes to cherished traditional foods, but do substitute ingredients within common side dishes or recipes so everyone can eat many of the same foods.
What is Plant-Based Eating? 
A plant-based diet is made up of mostly plant foods: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes (lentils, dried beans, and peas), nuts, and seeds. These foods provide the body with fibre, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals while usually being lower in calories than other types of foods. Animal foods like skinless poultry, lean meat, and low-fat dairy may make up a smaller amount of the foods eaten in a plant-based diet.  

Main Course Alternatives or Add-ons to Try:

Nut Roasts are a great way to provide a hearty entrée alternative to meat or poultry roasts. 
The Best Nut Roast Recipe For Celebrations! - **
Country-style Mushroom Pie 

Tofurkey – store bought or homemade Tofurkey, Stuffing Homemade Vegan Tofu Turkey With Stuffing Recipe ( **


Plant-based Recipe Ideas

Health Canada: Recipes - Canada's Food Guide and 
Adjusting recipes to meet your needs
Dietitians of Canada: Recipes - Unlock Food
**Alberta Pulse Growers Association:   
**Jamie Oliver:  Vegan Christmas recipes by Jamie Oliver  

Note: ** indicates AHS does not endorse the nutrition information 

Ingredient Substitutions


  • For moisture: 1 egg = 1/4 cup applesauce
  • For binding : 1 egg = 1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp water
  • For quiches & pies : 1 egg = 1/4 cup silken tofu
MILK: Replace cow or goat milk with fortified almond, soy or coconut milk.
BUTTERMILK: Replace 1 cup milk with 1 cup soy milk +2 tbsp lemon juice
CREAM: Replace 1 cup of cow’s milk cream with 1 cup coconut cream OR 3/4 cup soy milk + 1/4 cup vegan margarine
HONEY: Replace honey in equal quantities with agave syrup, maple syrup, or rice syrup
BUTTER: Replace butter with equal quantities of coconut, olive, or avocado oil, or, vegan margarine
Meal Planning Ideas:
Visit Dietitians of Canada’s Cookspiration for ideas and grocery store lists. Other ideas include meal apps like and
Find a Dietitian
Upcoming Nutrition Classes
Infant and Toddler Nutrition Classes:
For upcoming dates and to register, visit 
Prenatal Nutrition Classes:
Visit, go down to "Healthy Eating for Pregnancy'.
Alberta Healthy Living Program: The Alberta Healthy Living Program classes are available to help manage chronic conditions. Topics include Diabetes, Weight Management, Stress Management, Healthy Eating to Reduce your Risk, Emotional Eating and more. Access the Class Guide here.
To register call: Lethbridge 1-866-505-6654 or Medicine Hat/Brooks 1-866-795-9709.

Please Note: Due to COVID-19, all nutrition classes are now being offered online via Zoom.
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Alberta Health Services · Lethbridge Community Health Unit · 801 1 Ave S Rm A143 · Lethbridge, AB T1J 4L5 · Canada

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