We can’t deny, we all love a festive warm drink this season to warm up in the cold air. Milky, silky, chocolaty, even boozy, there’s endless choices to pick and devour. However, unfortunately, some of these Christmas treats can be full of calories, often as many as a grab-and-go sandwich!
But, there’s no reason to give up your festive treats this season, but you can make some clever swaps to make them healthier, lower in calories and sugar and even more enjoyable!
When Drinking Out
• Ask for skimmed milk (or it’s often called “skinny” milk in some coffee shops) – less fat means less calories.
• Ask for your Christmas drink to be made with sugar free syrups. More often that not, even the festive flavours can be made from sugar free options, so always ask what they’ve got available! You’d be surprised, but you can actually save hundreds of calories from this little trick alone!
• Size Matters – opt for a small or medium drink rather than a large to save on calories. You still get to enjoy your festive treat, but just not as much of it (and get to save those extra calories for some festive foodie treats).
• Ditch the cream – yep, I know, cream is bloody tasty, but it’s also sugary and fatty and full of empty calories. When ordering your favourite treat, ask for little or no cream. If you wish, keep the cream on your treat, but make sure it’s not a regular occurrence as the calories can soon add up over the festive period.
When at Home
• Clever swaps – there’s a lot of sugar free hot drink versions of products that taste the same… if not better than the originals. Saving 200kcals on a hot drink, what more could you want? As you all probably know, my favourite swap for sure is the Cadburys Highlights Hot Choc which is bloody delicious and only 38kcals (before milk).
• Sweeteners instead of sugar – Again, I bang on about this SO much but it’s such a great way of reducing both your calories and your sugar intake, especially if you have numerous hot drinks per day!! I often carry around the ‘tab’ forms as they’re perfectly simple to carry around in your bag when you’re on the go too! Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, there are LOTS of new sugar syrup flavours to try out and they’re sugar free too!
If you’re worried about sweeteners, check out my ‘Let’s talk about sugar’ post.
Hope that’s given you some insight into making your hot drinks healthier this season!
Emma is a Registered Dietitian and Registered Associate Nutritionist based in Cheshire, England. Emma works in community healthcare and writes freelance alongside her work: topics including Dietetic life, nutrition, mental health and lifestyle. Emma also writes and photographs recipes for the platform, as well as being the author of the ‘Mummy and Me’ series for SR Nutrition. Emma’s Food Stories is PR friendly brand.