Celebrating Healthier Holiday Meals!

Fall holiday foods

Make a healthy meal at holiday time!

Adding a nutritious twist to your holiday meal is truly the spirit of taking good care of yourself. Over the years, I’ve had a ton of fun in my kitchen with recipe re-do’s and a ton of fun at my meal table watching the reaction of my family and guests. One year at Thanksgiving, I totally changed up my sweet potatoes and everyone raved. Another year, I inserted some new veggies, and they got everyone talking. Even when we celebrate at my mother-in-law’s house, I make a lighter version of a favorite holiday recipe and, guess what?

It disappears into everyone’s stomach.

If you ask me, holiday traditional recipes are fine; but, remakes of those same recipes that cut down on fat, salt, sugar, cream, and gravy are a tasty way to celebrate good health and good cheer. Knowing what foods to buy at the grocery store is important, too. Here’s a blog with 7 favorite holiday foods for your cart.

Thanksgiving Dinner Menu with a Good Nutrition Twist

  • Butternut Squash Soup – creamy, full of vitamin A and healthier without cream. Recipe here.
  • Roasted Turkey – savory, full of protein, comfort food-ish and healthier when you leave the skin on your plate.
  • Stuffing – very traditional, starchy and healthier when made with whole grain bread and e-a-s-y on the butter.
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts – trendy, full of fiber and healthier when sprinkled with extra virgin olive oil.
  • Leafy Green Salad – bright, crunchy and healthier when topped with tomatoes, Bell pepper rings and mushrooms along with a dressing of extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice.
  • Apple Crisp – sweet, fruity and healthier with only a small dab of whipped cream on top. Recipe here.

New Year’s Day Menu with a Good Nutrition Twist

  • Lean Roast Beef Au Jus – savory, full of protein and iron, and healthier when made with au jus instead of gravy. Au jus is the juice/brown bits from the beef cooking pan thinned down with broth and warmed up in a small pan.
  • Mashed Potatoes with Garlic, Herbs & Extra Virgin Olive Oil – savory, smooth and healthier when made  with lots of garlic and a hint of crumbled rosemary.
  • Steamed Broccoli Spears – bright green, full of fiber and healthier when made simple, not sauced.
  • Baked Herb Tomatoes – sweet, soft and healthier when made with a nice sprinkling of your favorite herbs then baked in the oven.
  • Light Chocolate Mousse – sweet, chocolaty and healthier when made with light whipped cream and served in a smaller portion. Recipe here.

Putting Your Nutrition Know-How into Action

As a nutrition science professional, there are loads of ways to inspire and assist others in lifestyle improvements. During the holiday season, for example, grab the attention of your friends and family by organizing and/or hosting a light and healthy pot luck dinner party. Or, collect a bit of cash from your at-work friends and put together a light and healthy pot luck brunch at the office. There are endless ways you can lead your network into nutritious meals, snacks and party foods! Maybe you’ll want to make a career change into nutrition science.

What will be your healthier holiday menu this year?