Many people include bread in their holiday meal…a basket of bread, breadsticks, rolls, biscuits or some other form of bread. While bread is a delicious addition to the table, it can also be a source of empty calories (calories that provide little nutrition) if it is made with bleached white flour and not whole grain.
Instead of having bread on the table, consider having a vegetable tray or whole wheat crackers and salsa or low-fat dip as a healthier alternative.
If you cannot stand the thought of a holiday meal without bread, use whole wheat bread instead of white bread or use Ezekiel bread instead.
A vegetable tray is a versatile addition to any holiday meal because it can be used as an appetizer or as an integral part of the meal itself.
The tray can be filled with a fantastic array of healthy vegetables or snacks, such as: raw vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery, green peppers, red peppers, sugar snap peas, fennel and more); nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans); relish (corn, cranberry, orange, pickle); olives (Greek or Italian) and more.
Many people consider stuffing to be the pinnacle of the holiday meal, and there are so many ways it can be prepared so it is truly a centerpiece of many people’s holiday feast. There is one ingredient, however, that tends to make stuffing low in nutrition: white bread.
Consider substituting a recipe for stuffing that either uses whole wheat bread or mixes whole wheat bread with white bread for a healthier alternative. A great pre-made stuffing that mixes both types of bread and is delicious is Pepperidge Farm Stuffing.
There is nothing worse than eating a delicious holiday meal and then being faced with a wonderful looking piece of pie or cake that you simply have no room to enjoy. Even worse, how many times do we force that dessert into our bodies and then feel sick from overeating afterward?
A great alternative to overeating is to take a break from the table and enjoy dessert an hour or so later. During that time, the table can be cleared, dishes can be done, leftovers can be packaged and family members can go for a walk which will help to burn some of the calories that were just consumed.
Healthier Dessert Options
There are many healthy and delicious dessert options available. Consider adding fruit and/or low fat cookies to the dessert menu for a healthy alternative to pie and cake which are often laden with fat, calories and sugar.
It is easy to find ways to cut fat and calories without sacrificing taste by doing a Web search for healthy dessert alternatives. One tip — test new dessert recipes prior to serving them at the holiday table to ensure that they come out well and taste good.
The tips given above are simple ways that everyone can make their holiday table a little healthier this year.