/ Gluten-Free, Healthy Menu Options, Nutrition

The holidays are known as a time for indulgence. Whether it’s buying lavish gifts or stacking your house so full of lights it can be seen from space, there’s no denying that people like to go all-out with their celebrations. What goes better with a house full of decorations than a table filled with a holiday feast?  

Indulging a few times a year is natural, but it’s easy to go a little overboard with hearty holiday foods. Research completed by Associated British Foods recently found that the average person eats more than 7,000 calories on Christmas Day. That’s more than most healthy adults should eat in 3 days! Overeating can be harmful to the body, as it works extra hard to metabolize all that extra fuel its receiving. 

Here are a few suggestions to still offer your guests a delicious and rich meal, without going too overboard with calories, fat or sugar:

  • Use a smaller plate– It’s all about perspective. A smaller plate full of smaller portions looks just as satisfying as a larger plate piled up with food, and your guests are less likely to overeat. Smaller plates allow you to keep the full plate without the massive calorie intake! 
  • Read labels– Watch out for extra sugar lurking in some holiday staples, such as cranberry sauce and canned pumpkin. Try making these items from scratch so you know exactly what’s going in them or look for “no sugar added” labels on canned goods. You can also substitute for healthier options!
  • Keep veggies clean– It wouldn’t be the holidays without a fatty, salty green bean casserole on the menu. However, try offering some other lighter veggie sides as well. Roasted veggies or a salad tossed in a seasonal vinaigrette can still satisfy guests without adding tons of fat and calories to an already indulgent meal. Pinterest is full of fun and healthy recipes that will help give you the rainbow look on a full holiday plate!
  • Rethink your buffet – Try starting your buffet with some healthier choices, like fresh salads or crudité, so guests fill their plates with those first. 
  • Avoid the unlimited extras – Everyone gets excited for warm bread basket to start their meal, but it can be a large source of calories before the main event even starts. Avoid refilling the baskets unless your guests request more. Opt for healthier extras like celery and hummus or grapes to nibble on.

Whether you’re offering smaller portions or reconfiguring your buffet to encourage healthy options, there are tons of fun ways to encourage healthy holidays! Enjoy your favorite staples with healthy sides and get creative with menus that are sure to please your guests! All of us at MenuTrinfo wish you all a happy and healthy holiday season!