By Valerie Agyeman, RDN
The holiday season is a magical time when family and friends travel to celebrate and share delicious meals together, but enjoying holiday cheer doesn’t mean you have to replace your daily salad with a plate of cookies. The holidays can be tricky to navigate when you’re trying to eat healthily – even I struggle as a dietitian. Most people find the heavy meat dishes, a surplus of wine, and delicious desserts too mouth-watering to resist. There’s nothing wrong with that, however, you can approach the holidays in a more health-conscious way if that is your goal. Here are some tips to manage those holiday cravings and overindulgence.
1. Incorporate more fish into your holiday dishes or take a fish dish to your next holiday party! It’s is a healthy option and a much leaner protein compared to the traditional ham or prime rib, plus numerous studies have shown it can help reduce stress and seasonal colds and allergies (the anti-inflammatory properties).
2. Don’t skip meals before a party. Have a light snack instead. You’re guaranteed to overeat if you walk up to a buffet while starving.
3. Make a conscious effort to focus on what you are eating and eat slowly. Many people tend to talk and eat at holiday parties, and they don’t notice what they are putting in their mouths with all the multitasking going on.
4. Fill your plate with lots of vegetables to allow a little less space for a slice of something a bit more decadent, whether it’s a party quiche or pecan pie. Remember, portion really matters. Often a small slice of a treat is all that you need to satisfy you — those ﬁrst few bites are always the best.
5. Enjoy your favorites in balance. Don’t deprive yourself of something special, such as a holiday cookie or a slice of your favorite apple pie. Instead, balance your diet with healthy choices.
Holiday Seafood Recipe Guide
Serving a fish dish at your family table over the holidays might seem a bit untraditional unless you’re celebrating The Feast of the Seven Fishes, but it’s delicious! Here are a few of our favorites! Enjoy.
- This Smoked Salmon Crostini with Delicata Squash Butter is a taste of sweet and salty and reap the benefits of salmon in an easy to make appetizer
- Love a good dip? This Salmon Dip is easy to make, budget-friendly with its use of canned salmon, and (most importantly) delicious! Make it to impress at your next holiday or dinner party, or as a delicious dish for the family.
- Steamed Barramundi with Ginger, Tamari, and Fresh Herbs is perfect for a holiday dinner, bursting with delicious flavors everyone will love.
- Crab and Rice Stuffed Portabello are so versatile it’s perfect for any occasion. The light cheese mix gently binds the flavorful crab and rice, creating a textured stuffing that perfectly caps off this mushroom.
- This Maple Mustard Salmon with Roasted Veggies has sweet maple syrup and tangy mustard that adds bold flavor to the fish. Combine this salmon along with roasted vegetables for a hearty, comforting meal that is super quick and easy to make.
- Smoked Trout Polenta Bites is a fun and delicious seafood appetizer, that’ll get your party started off right!
- What’s not to love about salmon cakes? These Salmon Cakes are simple to make and are guaranteed to please the crowd.
- These Baked Coconut Shrimp Cups are an easy and delicious appetizer for your next holiday party or gathering. So light, so delish.
- Fish dish anyone? This Crispy Walnut Cod with Walnut Tzatziki has tons of crunch and flavor. It’s a delicious twist you can make with any white fish!
- Jazz up your meatballs and try Moroccan Sardine Meatballs! It’s simple to make, has amazing flavors, and will keep your guests coming back for more.
Preparing for a healthier version of the holidays can be hard, but try any of our favorite holiday seafood dishes and healthy tips and we’re sure you can make it through. Happy Holidays!