Food has an incredible connection to memory. The act of eating delicious food with our loved ones activates all our senses and can even help us recall deep memories and emotions. So it’s no wonder that when we prepare a treasured relative’s famous scalloped potato recipe, we think of that person and remember the warm emotions we feel for them.
At the same time, some of our favorite holiday foods are packed with unhealthy levels of sugar, carbohydrates, and fats. Food science and our understanding of nutrition has come a long way since Grandma’s faded red plaid cookbook was first published. Even the food pyramid is no longer something that nutritionists rely on to depict a well-balanced meal. So now that we know better, we can do better.
But don’t panic! We don’t have to throw out all our favorite recipes and start from scratch. It is the holidays, after all, and some indulgence is certainly warranted. Part of the season is celebrating abundance and practicing gratitude for the sweeter things in life. But how can you scratch that nostalgic itch for your family’s favorite recipes and traditions while still making healthier holiday choices?
Prioritize your absolute favorite dishes and make changes in other dishes. If you love green bean casserole, leave it the way you’ve always made it and tweak other dishes. It’s all about choice. Here are some ingredients you can swap out in your holiday recipes to make them a bit healthier!
Here are some other considerations to make sure you aren’t stuffed with holiday regrets after your celebratory meals:
With these tips, you and your loved ones can have a healthy and happy holiday.