10 Tips for a Delicious and Healthy Holiday Season

A family playing in the snow smiling and laughing

The holiday season can be a difficult time to make nutritious choices and keep up your healthy habits.  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 plant-based 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 nutritious choices the rest of the time.

  3. Don’t let the cold be an excuse not to go outside and be active. Explore the winter wonderland, play snoccer (soccer in the snow), go snowshoeing or ice skating, or build snow people. You’ll be having so much fun you won’t even notice the weather.

  4. Stay food safe. Are you up to date on your food safety knowledge? Take our Food Safety Quiz to find out. Did you know? One of the best ways to know that a cooked food is safe and ready to eat is by using a thermometer. A thermometer is also useful for making eggnog and other sauces

  5. If you choose to drink alcohol, follow the safe drinking guidelines. A glass of red wine or eggnog is nice but stick to the recommended drinking guidelines for best health. And don’t forget that sugar and fat can add up, especially from those drinks made with cream and sweet mixers. Alternate alcoholic drinks with non alcoholic beverages (like club soda and lime, water with lemon or tea and coffee).

  6. Are you having a cookie exchange or potluck with your co-workers? Try some of these nutritious recipes to share with the group: Whole wheat orange ginger sconesVegetable Quinoa SaladBest Ever Apple Berry Crisp; Pumpkin Cranberry Muffin Squares; and Midnight Coconut Lentil Fudge.

  7. Fill half your plate with veggies and fruit. The “plate method” is a simple way to meal plan. By filling half your plate with veggies/fruits, one quarter with protein foods and one quarter with whole grains, you will be sure to get all the nutrients you need to fuel your body and feel great.

  8. Do you dine out more often during the holidays? Read this article for our top tips when eating out. 

  9. Give the gift of health. Here are some ideas for stocking stuffers and holiday 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 delicious and nutritious food and quality time with family and friends. 

Recipes to try:


Baked Eggs with Lentils, Peppers & Tomatoes
Banana Whole Grains Griddle Cakes
Leek, Mushroom and Cheese Frittata
Masa (corn) Pancakes


Avocado and Grapefruit Winter Salad
Oven Roasted Cauliflower Soup
Avocado, Roasted Squash and Black Bean Tacos
Polenta Chicken Pizza Bites


Baked Potato Medley
Bruschetta Fish
Chickpea Tikka Masala
Country-Style Mushroom Pie
Pork Tenderloin with Cider-Glazed Carrots


Berry Christmas Wreath
Apricot Coconut Bars
Microwaved Honey and Cardamom Poached Apples or Pears
Berry Cheesecake Bars


Hot Mulled Tea
Holiday Punch
Grape Juice Sangria
Cider Pomtini
Pu’erh & Spices Milk Tea

How can a dietitian help?

Dietitians can support you throughout many phases of your life from pregnancy to eating well when you are older. Counselling sessions with a dietitian can also help you to prevent and treat health conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Your dietitian will work with you to give you personalized advice that meets your lifestyle and goals. Connect with a dietitian today!

Bottom line

There are many great ways you can enjoy the holidays while making nutritious choices. Which tips will you try this holiday season?

You may also be interested in:

Test the Temperature: Use a Thermometer for Food Safety
Family-Friendly One-Week Sample Menu Plan
Top 5 Reasons to See a Dietitian
This article was written and reviewed by dietitians from Dietitians of Canada. The advice in this article is intended as general information and should not replace advice given by your dietitian or healthcare provider.

Last Update – February 27, 2023

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