10 tips for a delicious and healthy holiday season

This is the time of year where food – and lots of it – is everywhere. How can you enjoy all that the holiday season has to offer while still making healthy choices? Read on for tips on a healthy and happy holiday season.




1) Don’t wait for January 1 to start your New Year’s resolution. Try making a holiday season resolution instead. Commit to just one thing that you can do during this busy time to feel your best.   Some ideas to try: go for a walk after dinner; have a healthy breakfast each morning; de-stress with a good night’s sleep; have a vegetarian meal once a week; or learn to menu plan.

2) Enjoy your “must-have” treats. It’s easy to indulge in all the goodies that are available this time of year. Be choosy. What foods do you really enjoy? Promise yourself that you will have a few favourites over the holidays and aim to make healthy choices the rest of the time.

3) Don’t use the cold as an excuse not to go outside and play. Explore the winter wonderland, play snoccer (soccer in the snow) or just build snow angels with your kids. You’ll be having so much fun you won’t even notice the weather.

4) Stay food safe. The best way to know that a food is safe and ready to eat is by using a thermometer. See here for safe cooking temperatures for turkey, pork, chicken and beef.     A thermometer is also useful for making eggnog and other sauces

5) Drink in moderation. A glass of red wine or eggnog is nice but stick to the recommended drinking guidelines for best health. And don’t forget that fancy drinks with lots of sugar and cream might have nearly as many calories as a meal! Alternate alcoholic drinks with lower-calorie beverages (club soda and lime, water with lemon or diet pop).

6) Are you having a cookie exchange or potluck with your co-workers? Try some of these healthier recipes to share with the group: Whole wheat orange ginger scones; Vegetable Quinoa SaladOntario Squash Dip; Pumpkin Cranberry Muffin Squares; and Mmmuesli cookies

7)  Watch your portions. The best way to manage your weight and enjoy delicious holiday foods is to be mindful of portion size. One good tip is to use a smaller plate – try it at your next buffet or potluck. 

8) You can go out to restaurants and have a delicious meal that won’t be too much for your waistline. The trick? Eat more veggies.   Here are some dishes to try

9) Give the gift of health. Here are some ideas for stocking stuffers and hostess gifts.

10) Enjoy this time of year! You may be so busy buying presents, entertaining guests, decorating the home and going out to celebrate that you forget to take the time to just relax. Enjoy good food (in moderation) and quality time with family and friends. 



Rise & shine breakfast sandwich

Leek, Mushroom and Cheese Frittata

Masa (corn) pancakes


Yummy Quinoa Lunch

Swiss chard and navy bean soup

Mustard Beet and Apple Salad


Country-Style Mushroom Pie

Spicy Chicken and Squash Stew

Pork Tenderloin with Cider-Glazed Carrots


Soft Oatmeal Raisin Delights

Ontario Apple Oatmeal Crisp

Microwaved Honey and Cardamom Poached Apples or Pears


Hot mulled tea

Holiday punch

Cider pomtini


You may also be interested in:

Holiday eating for a healthy waist

This winter, don’t hibernate, participate!

Happy healthy holidays

Turkey food safety

Holiday food safety


Last Update – October 9, 2016

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If you have questions about what you've read here, or other questions about food, nutrition or healthy eating, click to email our Registered Dietitians or call 1-877-510-5102.