Healthier Alternatives to Your Favorite Holiday Dishes

holiday dishes healthier eating

Many people trying hard to manage their weight fear the holidays. Social gatherings, family get-togethers’ and holiday parties mean food, food, food — and if we’re not careful, all the extra food can sneak up on us!

Finding Moderation in Our Favorite Holiday Dishes

Unfortunately, many of our favorite dishes are loaded with all of that “good stuff” that seems to make Thanksgiving and Christmas so wonderfully delicious. You know exactly what we’re talking about; it’s those high-sugar, high-fat ingredients that give our plates that extra boost of holiday flavor. What are the holidays without our favorite tastes and smells?

The good news is that you don’t have to give up on these dishes entirely just because you’re managing your weight. Don’t be afraid to splurge every now and then, so long as you do so in moderation and keep up with a balanced, consistent exercise routine.

Healthy Holiday Food Swaps – Renovate Your Plate!

On the other hand, there’s also a way for you to enjoy more of your favorite holiday dishes — and that’s by finding healthier alternatives! Keep the same taste and flavor while adding in more nutritional components. Consider these ideas for examples:

  • Holiday Dips – Replace high fat, cream-based dips with Greek or non-fat yogurt. Instead of chips, munch on carrot sticks, cucumber slices or broccoli stalks.
  • Candied Yams vs Sweet Potatoes- These are a Thanksgiving classic, but candies yams are loaded in extra sugar. Try roasting sweet potatoes with a little bit of olive oil doused on top.
  • Dark Meat vs White Meat – Turkey and chicken are classic holiday staples. Instead of opting for thighs or other parts of the body, aim for leaner, white breast meat to slash your calories in half.
  • Cranberry Sauce vs Cranberry Relish – Store-bought cranberry sauce comes loaded with extra sugar and corn syrup. Using fresh cranberries at home, try brewing your own sauce or relish with less sugar or even sugar substitutes.
  • Casseroles vs Whole Foods – Casseroles are very common during the holidays, and they incorporate a lot of our favorite ingredients. Instead, eat those ingredients whole! For example, try fresh cooked green beans instead of green bean casserole. Instead of sweet potato souffle, you can roast sweet potatoes and throw in a small amount of homemade glaze on top.
  • Mashed Potatoes vs Mashed Cauliflower – Cauliflower comes with a portion of the calories and carbohydrates found in potatoes. Add a little bit of low-fat, low-sodium butter or homemade healthy gravy to kick it up a notch.
  • Bread options – Bread rolls, stuffing and biscuits are a favorite holiday “extra.” If you’d like to include these in your dinners, opt for whole-grain options or even pita bread.

Here’s to a happy, healthy holiday season full of rich flavor and memories! Want more strategies for holiday holiday eating? Please CLICK HERE.