Healthy and affordable holiday eating tips from Cooking Matters

Healthy and affordable holiday eating tips from Cooking Matters


by Kristy Skidmore

Hilltop Logo Christmas RedChristmas is almost upon us! This is a season of great joy and a time to celebrate with family and friends.  Enjoy it the most by taking good care of yourself and encourage others to do the same. Cooking Matters works to make sure all kids have the healthy food they need every day. We are the education arm of Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. Our priority is to connect kids in need with nutritious food and teach families in our community how to cook healthy, affordable meals. Cooking Matters is housed with Hilltop Community Resources here on the Western Slope, serving Mesa, Delta, and Montrose counties.

The holidays can be a tough time practice good health and stay on a budget while enjoying holiday celebrations.  Celebrate the season by practicing healthy eating and physical activity to feel your best, and to create life-long habits. Balance meals by choosing foods from the five food groups represented in MyPlate: myplate FRUITS, VEGETABLES, PROTEINS, GRAINS, and DAIRY. Enjoy a healthy snack before attending parties to avoid overeating. Nothing is off limits, but be sure and choose wisely when it comes to treats. Pick a small amount of those that you would most enjoy. Eat slowly and enjoy each bite. Turn your focus to spending time with those that you love, and enjoy the food in moderation.

This is also a season for giving. Are you on a budget? Not to worry, you can still give generously and save money this holiday season! Healthy and affordable treats like these oatmeal cookies make a great gift. You can take them to a holiday party, give them to teachers and friends, or stuff them in stockings. Enjoy this recipe and a wonderful Christmas from Cooking Matters!

We are wrapping up 2015 and want to give a huge thank you to all of our volunteers. This year we were able to serve over 350 families in our community! The dedicated volunteers who teach Cooking Matters courses are chefs, students, Registered Dieticians, nutrition educators, and people with a passion for good food and making a difference.  If you are interested in volunteering or learning more about Cooking Matters, please click here.  cooking matters logo




Chunky Oatmeal Cookies

Serves 12, 3 cookies per serving • Prep time: 15 minutes • Cook time: 20–30 minutes



     ½ cup unsalted butter

    ½ cup white granulated sugar

    ½ cup brown sugar

    1 large egg

    2 Tablespoons nonfat milk

     ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

     1 cup whole wheat flour

     ½ teaspoon salt

     ½ teaspoon baking soda

1   ½ cups quick-cooking rolled oats

     1 cup of “mix-ins,” such as chopped dried fruit, chocolate chips, or chopped nuts

     Non-stick cooking spray


Baking sheet • Large bowl • Measuring cups • Measuring spoons • Microwave-safe bowl • Rubber spatula • Sharp knife


       1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

       2. Cut butter stick in half. Soften at room temperature. Or, place in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in microwave for 10–15 seconds to soften. Be careful not to melt butter.                

3.   3.  In a large bowl, blend butter, white sugar, and brown sugar, using a rubber spatula or fork. Mix until light and creamy.

4.   4.  Crack egg into bowl. Add milk and vanilla. Mix until smooth.

5.   5.  Add flour, salt, and baking soda. Mix until just blended. Do not over mix.

6.   6.  Add rolled oats and “mix-ins.” Mix until all ingredients are blended.

7.   7.  Lightly coat a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

8.   8.  Scoop 1 Tablespoon of dough per cookie. Use your hands to shape dough into a ball. Place 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.

9.   9. Bake until cookies are lightly browned on bottom, about 8–10 minutes. Remove from oven. Let sit 2–3 minutes to firm up before removing from baking sheet. Let cool.

1   10.  Repeat steps 7–9 until all cookies are baked.

Nutrition Info (per serving)

90 4.5g 7g 55mg

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