Pack Your Holiday Feast With Eye-Healthy Foods

Posted By Key-Whitman Eye Center || 12-Nov-2014

t’s the most wonderful time of the year—time for holiday feasting! Feel free to indulge in your favorite holiday treats, but while you are preparing your holiday meals, be sure to include some foods that are good for your health, especially your eyes.

Fresh fruits and vegetables contain numerous vitamins and minerals that can help keep your eyes healthy and prevent vision-threatening eye conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Some of the most essential nutrients for eye health include: vitamins A, C and E, zinc, carotenoids and antioxidants. These nutrients can help prevent eye infection, dry eyes, damage to the retina, cataracts and night blindness.

During this time of year, many eye-healthy foods are in season, like pumpkin seeds, winter squash, citrus fruits and squash of all varieties, including pumpkin, butternut, acorn, spaghetti and sweet potatoes.

Hungry for some delicious fall foods? Here are two recipes to enjoy this holiday season, including a family recipe from Dr. Whitman.

Butternut Squash Bread Pudding


2 Tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the baking dish
2 medium onions, chopped
1 1/2 pounds butternut squash (about half a medium squash), peeled, seeded and cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh sage
6 large eggs
2 cups whole milk
3/4 pound soft French or Italian bread, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 7 1⁄2 cups)
1/2 pound
Gruyère, grated (2 cups)


1. Heat oven to 375° F. Oil a 2 ½- to 3-quart baking dish.
2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to soften, 4 to 5 minutes.
3. Add the squash, season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper, and cook, tossing frequently, until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes more.
4. Stir in the sage. Let cool for 10 minutes.
5. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Add the bread, cheese, and squash mixture and toss to coat.
6. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and bake until golden brown and set, 55 to 60 minutes.

Dr. Whitman's Family Cranberry Sauce

3 cups or one bag of fresh cranberries, rinsed in colander
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cinnamon stick (not powder)
1 peeled (not peeled is ok) and diced tart apple
1 peeled and diced pear
Juice of one fresh orange or 2 tbsp orange liqueur such as Grand Marnier


1. Boil sugar and water on medium high heat until sugar is dissolved.
2. Add cranberries, diced pear and apple, cinnamon stick and orange juice to the boiling liquid and let return to a boil.
3. Once back to a rolling boil, reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes, bring back to boil for 3-4 minutes while stirring.
4. Take off the heat and when sufficiently cooled, pour into bowl and let set in fridge.
5. Enjoy!

This holiday season may be filled with plenty of unhealthy foods, but you can incorporate a big dose of nutrients into your feast with these delicious fall foods.

Categories: Eye Health
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