A Whole Bunch of Healthy Holiday Recipes & Holiday Party Ideas


By Amy Gorin, MS, RDN

When it comes to holiday party ideas, you're in the right place for healthy holiday recipes. These ideas will help you have a healthy Christmas dinner and beyond.


After munching on buttery trail mix, chomping on one cheese appetizer too many, and wolfing down rich desserts at least once or twice a week, you might actually be craving a nutrient-packed dish that's light on the stomach.


But since the holiday season isn't typically synonymous with healthy eating, how can you celebrate all the festivities and still show your body much-needed love with good-for-you foods? 

I've got a few ideas. In this blog post, I'm dishing out a list of oh-so-healthy side dishes perfect for any potluck, plus big-batch punch recipes that will bring life to any party–even the alcohol-free ones! And while some dishes are concocted with the intent to cut calories and sugars, I'm sharing heart-healthy recipes that actually bring nutrients to the table.


I'm going to be serving up many of these recipes at my own holiday-themed parties, even if they happen over Zoom this year! Start taking notes now, especially since we're in the holiday homestretch.


Ready for a healthy, fun holiday? What are your favorite holiday traditions?


Looking for healthy holiday recipes, healthy holiday appetizers, and healthy holiday desserts? Look no further for healthy Christmas recipes! #healthyholiday #healthychristmas #holiday #christmas #recipes #appetizers #nutrition #dinner

Healthy Holiday Side Dishes

When it comes to the holidays, you have much more to think about than holiday lights, the office Christmas party, and gift wrapping galore.


If you're thinking about how to celebrate the holidays and spread the holiday cheer in your own home, here are some ideas. And the best news ever? Leftovers of these healthy side dishes taste great alongside Christmas movies galore and YouTube videos of Christmas caroling.


Thinking about whipping up mashed potatoes, baked Brussel sprouts, and roasted sweet potatoes? There are definitely ways to make veggie sides healthy. Whether you want to stick to your healthy eating plan throughout the holiday season or simply lighten the load for one festive evening, the good-for-you side dishes in this KSL article will do the trick. 


Try my healthied-up version of a classic appetizer–hint: It involves avocado–or one of the other warming small plates from my dietitian colleagues. 


And no need to serve up extra calories over the holidays! I share easy, one-ingredient calorie-saving food swaps in my NBCNews.com article. If you're entertaining, give these healthy entertaining recipes a spin on the kitchen. How about some more food swaps for healthy holiday eating?


Now, how about more delicious healthy holiday side dishes to whip up?

What Dietitians Actually Eat For Dessert


While I love gingerbread houses and candy canes, I hand pick what I eat while watching my favorite Christmas movies, hanging holiday lights, playing holiday games, and partaking in other holiday cheer activities–ahem, drinking hot cocoa!


I'll be the first to admit that I love the sweet treats of winter, from peppermint mochas to gingerbread cookies to a good 'ol glass of eggnog. But of course, there's festive food and drink everywhere this time of year, so I can't endlessly indulge.


I decide when it's worth it to have the real thing–yes to a delicious gingerbread cookie!–and when I take healthier shortcuts, like having a glass of eggnog kefir instead of the traditional recipe.


So as my holiday gift to you, I'm taking you to dessert school. That's right! You're about to learn what other dietitians and I designate as "worth it" in the dessert department, as well as the three vocabulary words you must know when selecting a store-bought dessert.


Think dietitians like me don't eat dessert? Think again! That's just a myth. See what treat I whip up year-round and keep in the freezer at all times, via this tell-all article from WellandGood.com. You can also invite your friends and holiday guests to bring healthier desserts to any event you're hosting.


Then see what sweets my nutritionist colleagues can't live without. Miniature cakes are a great sweet treat, too!


Want more healthier holiday desserts? Here you go!

Looking for healthy holiday recipes, healthy holiday appetizers, and healthy holiday desserts? Look no further for healthy Christmas recipes! #healthyholiday #healthychristmas #holiday #christmas #recipes #appetizers #nutrition #dinner

Perfect Holiday Punch Recipes

Appetizers? Check. Desserts? Check. Celebratory drinks? If you're drawing a blank on the refreshments for your company holiday party or family get together, you're in luck—this article from AARP's The Girlfriend is here to help. These holiday drinks make any party look like a winter wonderland!


Break out your punch bowl and whip up a batch of my kombucha-based mocktail, or try one of the other healthier boozy options. With these recipes, you won't mind being on drink duty or hosting the next party-themed happy hour. Now, go get in the holiday spirit. How about some slow cooker apple cider?


And here are even more healthier holiday beverage recipes:

This blog post was updated in November 2020.


Looking for healthy holiday recipes, healthy holiday appetizers, and healthy holiday desserts? Look no further for healthy Christmas recipes! #healthyholiday #healthychristmas #holiday #christmas #recipes #appetizers #nutrition #dinner


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I'd love to hear from you! Let me know which of these holiday party ideas and healthy Xmas recipes you love the most. What do you have up your sleeve in the holiday event planning and office holiday party ideas department? Ever been to a food truck holiday party or another out-of-the-box holiday event?


Comment below, or tag @amydgorin on Instagram and Pinterest and @amygorin on Twitter 

and Facebook.


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