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Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Offers Healthful Ideas, Food Safety Tips to Celebrate National Cookie Day On December 4

November 30, 2023

CHICAGO – Whether you like your cookies crunchy, gooey, plain or decorated, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers some healthful tips to safely celebrate National Cookie Day on December 4.

“Cookies are the perfect little dessert. They are versatile, portable and easy to make,” says registered dietitian nutritionist Jamie Mok, an Academy Spokesperson in Los Angeles, Calif. “Cookies come in all different types, shapes and sizes, so have fun experimenting with recipes, incorporating different ingredients and decorating for the occasion!”

Mok offers the following tips to celebrate:

Healthful Tips

“With some simple swaps, you can up the nutritional value of your holiday cookies,” Mok says. “Try decreasing the amount of sugar in a recipe by one tablespoon at a time while being mindful to increase the liquid if necessary. Ripe bananas can be used in lieu of sugar as a natural sweetener in some baking recipes.”

“Substitute white whole-wheat flour for all-purpose flour for more fiber, B vitamins and some minerals. You can replace up to half the all-purpose flour in a recipe with whole-grain flour without making any major adjustments to the recipe,” Mok says.

“Alternative flours, like almond flour and oat flour, are great for baking and offer their own unique nutritional benefits. Be aware that you will have to adjust the amount when substituting for all-purpose flour as the conversion ratio for these alternative flours is not equal,” Mok says.

“Make mini-cookies by portioning your cookie dough using a 1-tablespoon scoop. Decorate your cookies with dried fruit or nuts instead of candy,” Mok says.

Food Safety

“Wash your hands with soap in clean, running water for at least 20 seconds,” Mok says. “Wash countertops, bowls and utensils with hot, soapy water to prepare your workspace. Wash your hands as necessary while making the cookies.”

As tempting as it might look, don’t eat raw cookie dough because the raw eggs or uncooked flour may contain bacteria that can lead to food poisoning if not cooked first,” Mok says. “Wash your hands, work surfaces and utensils after contact with raw dough.”

“Follow directions to bake cookies at the proper temperature for the specified time. Allow your cookies to cool before taking a bite to prevent burns. Store your cookies in an airtight container on the counter or refrigerate if the directions call for it,” Mok says.

Little Helpers

“Baking cookies can be a family affair with the proper instruction and supervision,” Mok says. “Teaching your children to cook is educational as it includes reading, math and patience. Teaching them the basics of washing their hands, following directions and cleaning up after they prepare food is a valuable life skill.”

“Assign age-appropriate tasks to your children,” Mok says. “Younger children can mix the dough and make fun shapes with cookie cutters while older children can crack eggs, measure ingredients and set the oven to the correct temperature. Everybody can join in the fun of decorating the cookies once cooled.”

Visit the Academy’s website at for children to take the Cookie Rookie Pledge for home food safety, and learn more about healthful foods and good nutrition all year long.

To find an RDN near you, visit the Academy’s Find a Nutrition Expert directory.


Representing more than 112,000 credentialed nutrition and dietetics practitioners, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy at

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