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Reviewed by Kathleen Zelman on February 14, 2012

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Kathleen Zelman, RD, MPH

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Video Transcript

Narrator: Kathleen Zelman, RD, MPH, WebMD Weight Loss Clinic

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Our recipe calls for butter…

WebMD Dietitian Kathleen Zelman is helping an aspiring young chef create a healthier Easter menu….

We can cut maybe a tablespoon or so…

What's her key to a delicious holiday spread that's good for you? Choose foods that build your body's defenses.

When you choose vegetables for your holiday meal look for the rich color—like sweet potatoes—that deep orange color means they are full of Vitamin A.

When you look for greens look for the dark greens, like spinach, green beans, broccoli. They all contain lots of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals that help prevent disease.

Don't forget the berries. All berries contain phenols–antioxidants which help fight cancer, stroke and heart disease.

Carrots, squash and zucchini are loaded with Vitamins A and C, fiber, and potassium.

But what about those family favorites, casseroles?

One way you can lower the fat and lower calories is to think about substituting or replacing certain ingredients.

For example in this sweet potato sham where you have butter, sugar and cream you can use a lower fat cream or you can substitute a different ingredient.

Will it taste the different?

It will be just as good and no one will ever know difference.

While leg of lamb and baked ham are the traditional Easter meats, turkey is the healthier choice.

Let's not forget the famous Easter egg! Choose those with added Omega 3 oil and you've added heart healthy benefits.

When it comes to those calorie laden Easter pies and cakes, Kathleen has another tip for our young chef:

Krysta I see that you're substituting applesauce for the oil in your cake mix recipe—it's a great way to lower the fat and calories and you know you can also substitute yogurt!

Drink choices are easy: Tea and coffee are full of antioxidants, and red wine is heart healthy. So feel free to indulge in a glass or two….

Here's to family and friends!

For WebMD, I'm Sandee LaMotte

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