7 healthy holiday treats

The holidays are the prime time of the year to indulge, but all that eating and drinking can come with a price. Too many rich dinners and decadent desserts can cause weight gain, and leave your feeling imbalanced and lethargic. However, there are healthy options available that stay in the spirit of the season while providing your body with the nutrition it needs to stay on track. Here are seven treats that are both tasty and healthy.

1. Raw vegetables and dip. The appetizer course is a great opportunity for partygoers to get in nutritious vegetables. Raw vegetables are more nutritious than their cooked counterparts, and generally have a fresh flavor that’s distinct from the rest of the spread. Add a dip to the offering for extra flavor. For an extra healthy component, opt to make the dip yogurt-based; the probiotics found in yogurt can help to regulate your gut health.

2. Roasted sweet potatoes. That savory-sweet side dish that everyone looks forward to at dinner can be healthy with just a few adjustments. In lieu of candied yams, sweet potatoes are a healthy alternative that still tastes delicious. Rich in vitamins, sweet potatoes are simply more nutritious than other potatoes. Roasting them helps to bring out their natural sweetness, and can fill out your plate nicely.

3. Wild rice stuffing. Bread stuffing and sausage stuffing certainly are delicious, but the calories can really add up. Substituting wild rice in as the main component of your stuffing adds a nutty and complex flavor to the dish, without the extra carbs and fat. Add vegetables for additional nutrition and flavor.

4. Roasted Brussels sprouts. Brussels sprouts may not have the best reputation, but it’s completely unwarranted. Garlic and olive oil are this vegetable’s best friends, which makes this an excellent healthy side dish. Cutting Brussels sprouts into halves and roasting them makes them crunchy on the outside, but soft like a potato on the inside. What’s more, they’re bursting with essential vitamins and nutrients.

5. Turkey. The white meat of this bird is a good source of protein and low in fat. In terms of eating healthy, it is a much better choice than dark meat or ham, which can be high in sodium. Keep in mind that reasonable portions are the key here — too much of anything can be a bad thing.

6. Cider. It can be hard to resist eggnog at holiday parties. After all, it’s a seasonal drink, and missing out on such a treat can be disappointing. If you’re looking to drink healthier this holiday season, consider cutting down on how much eggnog you consume and replacing some of it with a cider drink. This is equally delicious hot or cold, and is less caloric.

7. Pumpkin Pie. You read that right: this dessert table staple is actually healthy, in comparison to some other treats. High in vitamin A, while lower in calories and saturated fat, pumpkin pie is a fantastic alternative to chocolate or apple pies. Again, just be sure that you’re watching how much you have.


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