It is time for the holiday season! Starting with Thanksgiving, the fall and winter holiday season is filled with hearty and delicious food. We’ve talked about accommodating dietary restrictions before. Today, let’s discuss how to add some nutrient dense food to your holiday gatherings just to break up all the heavy comfort food. This is going to be a two-part post because it would be almost embarrassingly long if I didn’t break it up. Another great place to get advice on this is this post by Caroline Picard and Rachel Brown for Good Housekeeping.

Get Creative With Salads

Everyone loves a good chopped salad, but there’s tons of ways to spice them up. I’m going to once again refer you to the Good Housekeeping article, and I’m not going to list their ideas here. You should go read that link for specific recipes. So I’m going to keep it general here, but check out their article for any specific recipes, also they cover more than I will. You can add some nutrients to your salads as simply as adding cheese or nuts. Also keep in mind that you can use foods like sweet potatoes (as Good Housekeeping brings up) and other starches as your base for your salads. You can also make your own unique dressings to add some interesting flavors. You can also experiment with different protein sources that you don’t have in other dishes: salmon, chicken, or tofu.

Veggie and Fruit Trays

I love suggesting these because they are simple, cheap, popular at parties, and can be either store-bought or made at home. And they are a great way to add light veggies to a holiday party, and they can be picked off all night. No one ever thinks of bringing these, either, but every party needs one in my opinion.

Fruit as Dessert

This can be interpreted either as serving fruit on its own as dessert (which is popular in some cultures) or one of my favorites: chocolate covered fruit. Is it the healthiest? Probably not. But it’s light, fun, and easy. It can also be a great bonding experience with family if you make your own. All you need is your favorite fruit and dipping chocolate.

What’s your favorite healthy dish over the holidays? Let us know in the comments. And stay tuned for part two!

Written by Brigid Stakelum