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The Ultimate Healthy Holiday Tips & Recipes

With the holiday season well underway, you might be wondering what to serve on your holiday table – especially if you want that table to offer healthy options.  Have no worries, Foxy is here to help you have a healthy holiday with your favorite in-season produce items and healthy holiday recipes!  

Here are 8 dietitian approved healthy holiday tips and nutritious holiday recipes to help you have a healthy holiday season:

The Situation: You want to feel good after eating a holiday dinner.

The Healthy Holiday Tip: First, start with a plan.  Often times, starting with a healthy meal plan often means starting with a plant!  Adding more plants to your holiday dinner table enables you and your family to make healthier choices.  Plants – like vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans – are full of vitamins, minerals and fiber to keep your body nourished.  And for a bonus holiday feel good tip: after enjoying your holiday dinner, take a walk around the neighborhood to catch up with family or to view the festive holiday décor. Simply moving more can help support healthy blood sugar levels, decrease anxiety, and improve sleep! (1) 

The Holiday Recipe: Stuffing is a classic holiday favorite, and now you can make it with the benefits of cauliflower!  This holiday season, try this healthy, vegan Breadless Cauliflower Stuffing.


The Situation: You want to bring a healthy appetizer to share with family and friends at your annual party.

The Healthy Holiday Tip:  The holiday appetizer table can be full of sweet treats and salty, crunchy snacks.  It’s okay to pass up the food if you’re full or if it doesn’t look good, but be sure to honor your hunger and your food desires.  Turns out, it is thought that depriving yourself of your favorite foods might actually lead to a binge later on!  (2, 3)  Skip the foods that are just mediocre in favor of the foods you want most.  When eating, take note of the flavors, the textures, and the temperatures of the food to help you savor every little delicious moment!

The Holiday Recipe:  Impress at your next holiday party with this Kale, Apple and Ricotta Flatbread.  Made with a cauliflower crust and topped with kale, apple and ricotta, this sweet and savory flatbread is sure to please!


The Situation:  You have family and friends in for the holidays – and they plan to stay at your home overnight!  You want to prepare a quick, healthy holiday breakfast.

The Healthy Holiday Tip:  Offer a DIYBB (do it yourself breakfast bar)!  Add to your breakfast bar a variety of fruits like strawberries, bananas, and apples, vegetables like broccoli, kale, and BroccoLeaf, grains like oats, proteins like nuts, seeds, eggs and Greek yogurt for your guests to build their own nourishing oatmeal bowls, egg omelets, Greek yogurt parfaits, or fruit and nut bowls.  Everybody wins!

The Holiday Recipe: These Easy Egg Muffins require just 3 simple ingredients and take less than 30 minutes to prepare from start to finish.  Pair the muffins with an assortment of red and green fruit, like strawberries and kiwi, to stay in the holiday spirit.


The Situation: It’s not the holidays without some delicious holiday baking, right?  This year, you want your holiday baking to include fresh produce.

The Healthy Holiday Tip: Baking sweet treats with vegetables and fruits are unique ways to get in extra vitamins and minerals during the holiday season.  Consider adding in shredded beets, zucchini, sweet potato or carrots to your muffins, breads, waffles and cupcakes.  A handful of leafy greens like spinach can be cleverly added to cocoa-based recipes, and strawberries can be added to cookies, bars and even cheesecakes for an even sweeter selection! 

The Holiday Recipe: This holiday season, bake up these Strawberry Almond Oat Bars!  As a sweet dessert treat, these bars offer the tasty addition of fresh Foxy strawberries. 


The Situation: For you, the holiday hustle typically means that you are busy shopping and running errands – and that some days, you forget to eat breakfast!  This year, you plan to act differently.

The Healthy Holiday Tip: A healthy breakfast doesn't have to take much – if any – time.  Simply take a smoothie with you as you head out the door, and stock your purse or car with nutrient-dense breakfast or snack options – like fresh vegetables with hummus (if you plan to eat soon), dried fruit with nuts, or roasted chickpeas.

The Holiday Recipe: Before you leave your house for a full day of holiday shopping, blend up this BroccoLeaf Berry Smoothie and have a handful of walnuts on the side.  This combination delivers fiber-rich carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats to help keep you feeling full all morning long!


The Situation: You are in charge of bringing a snack for your child’s school party.

The Healthy Holiday Tip:  Encourage students to play with their food!  Try the “Christmas Crunch:” bring an assortment of crunchy vegetables to snack time – like celery, broccoli, cauliflower, and asparagus – and encourage students to trial each vegetable to see which one makes the biggest crunch when eaten!  Or, cut various vegetables into small pieces to have the students design and decorate their own holiday tree – leafy greens or broccoli can act as a “tree,” while sliced carrots, cherry tomatoes, and sliced peppers can act as colorful “ornaments.”

The Holiday Recipe: A tasty dip might just be what encourages your child to eat more veggies!  (4) Try this Zesty Edamame Hummus.


The Situation: You feel like your immune system could use some extra support during the holiday season.

The Healthy Holiday Tip:  Extra alcohol, extra stress and not enough sleep can all undermine your immune system during the holiday season.  This season, rely upon good nutrition – like vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, and probiotics – to support your immune system.  Nutrients like vitamin A helps maintain the integrity of body tissues that act as a barrier against infections, while vitamin C might help decrease the duration of cold symptoms!  (5-7)

The Holiday Recipe: Full of vitamin A and vitamin C from kale, parsley, apple, and lemon, this Sinus Soothing Green Juice is a super supporter of immune health. 


The Situation: It’s January 1 and you feel like you need to detox and refresh with a strict meal plan.

The Healthy Holiday Tip:  Skip the crazy, food-free or limited-food detox!  Turns out, your body has its own detoxification system (hint: it’s your liver and your kidneys!), so as long as you support the system with the nutrients it needs to do its job, you’ll be detoxing just fine.  What supports your body’s detoxification process?  A variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients!  Some of my favorite detoxification-supportive foods include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, garlic, onions and berries.

The Holiday Recipe:  Cozy, nourishing, and rebalancing, this Warm BroccoLeaf Salad offers BroccoLeaf, shallots, pears, and hazelnuts, which deliver nutrients to help support your body’s detoxification system. 



Want more tips to help you have a healthy holiday season?  Check out more healthy tips for holiday eating here.  Then, let me know: what helps you have a healthy holiday?  Post your healthy holiday tip to Facebook and tag me and @FoxyProduce!

 

 References:

  1. Piercy KL, Troiano RP, Ballard RM, et al. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. JAMA.2018;320(19):2020–2028. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.14854
  2. Polivy J, Herman CP. Dieting and binging: a causal analysis. Am Psychol. 1985 Feb;40(2):193-201.
  3. Hetherington MM, Stoner SA, Andersen AE, Rolls BJ. Effects of acute food deprivation on eating behavior in eating disorders. Int J Eat Disord. 2000 Nov;28(3):272-83.
  4. Savage JS, Peterson J, Marini M, Bordi PL Jr, Birch LL. The addition of a plain or herb-flavored reduced-fat dip is associated with improved preschoolers’ intake of vegetables. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2013 Aug;113(8):1090-5. 
  5. Stephensen CB. Vitamin A, infection, and immune function. Annu Rev Nutr. 2001;21:167-92. 
  6. Douglas RM, Hemilä H. Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold. PLoS Med 2005;2:e168.
  7. Hemilä H. The role of vitamin C in the treatment of the common cold. Am Fam Physician 2007;76:1111, 1115.
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