Healthy Holiday Eating

3 Tips for Staying on Track

Holiday meals can be stressful for people with health concerns or dietary restrictions, or those who are trying to maintain their weight. But with some advance planning, you can avoid the stress and enjoy yourself without ruining your progress. Try one, two, or all three of the following ideas to stay on a healthy track:

1. Lighten Up

There are many things you can do to lighten up traditional recipes without sacrificing taste:

  • use fat-free or light versions of some go-to ingredients
  • add fresh herbs for extra flavor (without the extra fat, calories, or salt)
  • steam veggies instead of sautéing in butter
  • use a bit less sugar in your desserts—especially fruit pies

2. Eat Your Veggies

Vegetables are an important part of every meal, especilly at the holidays. They help fill you up and keep you from overeating other high-calorie and high-fat foods on the table. Add some colorful and nutritious veggie dishes to your holiday meals, such as:

  • a green salad
  • a steamed, seasoned vegetable medley
  • low-starch veggies such as brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and tomatoes (low in carbs and calories)
  • a raw veggie platter


3. Move

One of the best ways to prepare or make up for a little overindulgence is to get active with your loved ones:

  • take a walk together
  • play Frisbee, soccer, or touch football
  • help with meal prep
  • help with clean up 

Get more tips on holiday meal planning and fitting in sweets with the American Diabetes Association®'s Holiday Meal Planning guide.

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