These healthy swaps will help you eat a little better during the holidays! Not that you have to though!
We’re well into the holiday season and chances are you are faced with many tempting treats. While you should enjoy the holidays with your favorite foods, I know that many of you want to keep an eye on good health too.
At your next holiday party or potluck, look for these better for you alternatives to beat the bulge. If you are the host, add some healthier options to the table.
Healthy Holiday Appetizer Ideas
The fresh vegetable tray is a great place to start. It’s likely the most nutritious option on the table and the veggies will fill you up with plenty of fiber.
Instead of pigs in a blanket, you might choose a leaner option…
- Focus on seasonal fruit. My Grape, Ricotta & Walnut Bites are a sweet and savory option to try.
- Try turkey or ham roll-ups with asparagus or spinach in the center. You might also just eat the pigs in a blanket because you love them and it’s the holidays!
- Look for chicken or beef kabobs, chicken satay, lean turkey meatballs or roast beef slices. These are all full of lean protein to keep you satisfied.
Healthy Chip Swaps
Chips and dip can be addictive. You may know firsthand that it’s hard to eat just one – especially if there’s French onion dip involved.
- Instead of potato chips and dip, fill up on salsa with just a few tortilla chips. You get 8 times more calories in French onion dip compared to veggie salsa.
- If you must have the French onion dip (and THAT’S OK), substitute fresh veggies for the chips to significantly cut calories.
- Hummus with whole-grain pita chips or fresh veggies is another great option to munch on.
- My Roasted Garlic White Bean Dip is perfect for vegan guests!
And, if you’re eyeing that healthy-sounding spinach artichoke dip, take a closer look. Most are loaded with cheese and cream. Now this can be just fine but if you know it’s going to leave you feeling a certain kinda way, try something different!
Desserts are synonymous with the holidays. At some point you’ll encounter pound cake, red velvet cake, cupcakes, fudge, sweet potato pie, frosted sugar cookies and more.
Even if you’re watching your waistline, you can have dessert. I sure do.
- You could stick to small cupcakes and go easy on the icing, opt for sweet potato pie over pecan pie or a sliver of Grandma’s pound cake versus a huge hunk.
- I know it’s hard to believe at times but fresh fruit is a perfect way to end a meal. For a special treat, enjoy baked apples, chocolate-covered strawberries or fresh pineapple in yogurt sauce.
Alcohol not only adds empty calories, but it also tends to lower your inhibitions and may lead to overeating. To keep it festive and light, enjoy a glass of wine or a wine spritzer.
Spiked eggnog is a popular choice for holiday gatherings. But if you’re like me, your body may not feel so great afterward.
- Sip on warm apple cider or a small mug of hot cocoa with whipped cream for fun.
- Sip on my vegan eggnog or Instant Pot Pear Cider for delicious options.
- Add some frozen grapes or cranberries to sparkling water for a festive and fun way to keep your drinks cool and sweet!
Another new (2019) trend is to incorporate mocktails. My Sparkling Blood Orange Mocktail is a pretty one that’s perfect for the winter.
This post was refreshed with new photos and content on 12-23-19!