Healthy Holiday Menu Plan Ideas

Melanie Thomassian Health Pro
  • Are you concerned about maintaining a healthy eating plan throughout the holidays?


    While the holiday season can be a bit of a challenge, with the right choices, and a little portion control, Christmas dinner itself can be a pretty healthy meal.


    To keep your dinner plate portions healthy, follow this general rule of thumb for a well-balanced meal:

    • 50% of your plate filled with vegetables
    • 25% of your plate filled with meat, fish or alternatives
    • 25% of your plate filled with carbohydrate foods
    • A fruit based appetizer or dessert

    If you follow this simple rule, you can still enjoy some of the foods you love, without putting your diet out of balance.

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    Here are a few suggestions for a healthy holiday menu plan:


    Appetizer ideas


    Fresh fruit sorbet.
    Homemade vegetable soup, served with a wholegrain bread roll.

    Christmas dinner ideas

    Roast turkey - just remember to remove the skin.
    Grilled salmon - drizzle a light crème fraiche and lemon sauce.
    Nut roast - for the vegetarian option.

    Christmas side dish ideas


    Spinach mash with reduced fat sour cream.

    Honey glazed carrots and parsnips.
    Green beans - dressed with olive oil, garlic, parsley, and lemon juice.

    Mixed leaf salad.


    Dessert ideas


    Remember having a small portion is key here!


    Seasonal berry crumble, with wholemeal flour, oats and nuts, served with light creme fraiche.
    Fruit pudding (reduced sugar), served with homemade reduced sugar coulis, rather than cream or brandy butter.
    Seasonal fresh fruit platter.


    Healthy snack ideas


    Constantly picking at potato chips and chocolate over the holidays, as well as drinking alcohol can add more than 1,000 calories per day. So, try to replace some of these snacks with healthier alternatives to keep your diet well balanced.


    As an alternative to savory snacks such as potato chips or salted nuts, go for:

    • Plain popcorn
    • Mixed vegetable crudités platter
    • Rice cakes
    • Toasted wholegrain pita triangles and salsa dip
    • Pretzels

    As a healthier alternative to sweet snacks such as chocolates and cake, go for:

    • Dried fruit dipped in dark chocolate
    • Mixed fresh fruit platter
    • Natural yoghurt with seasonal berries and chopped nuts

    Best wishes for the holiday season!


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Published On: December 19, 2008