5 Healthy Holiday Food Swaps!

Healthy Holiday Swaps 1
image via flickr user …love Maegan

Every family has the traditional favorites for holiday foods, and whether you’re trying to lose weight, or just trying to be more health conscious, the holidays can be a hard time to eat healthy. Chances are you aren’t going to convince your 80-year-old grandmother to change her famous pie recipe, but there are some easy swaps for traditional holiday favorites that may just win her over!

Healthy Holiday Swaps 2
image via flickr user kevin dooley

Fresh Green Bean Casserole

This popular dish is found on many a holiday table. Not only is it tasty, but it can be thrown together quickly, and in my case, last minute. (I found out the hard way that convenience stores can charge an arm and a leg for the fried onions when you’re shopping on the holiday!) Unfortunately, just a ¾ cup serving of the popular side dish will run you 148 calories, 8 grams of fat, and a whopping 431 mg of sodium.

An easy swap for this favorite is this recipe for a fresh green bean casserole. You get all the creaminess from a fresh white sauce and the topped crunchiness from breadcrumbs. This healthier alternative not only tastes great and just as satisfying, but does it with only 107 calories, 3 grams of fat, and a more reasonable 148 mg sodium per ½ cup.

{ MORE: Delicious Popcorn Brussel Sprouts }

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Healthy Holiday Swaps 3
image via flickr user Bordecia34

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

I can’t remember having scalloped potatoes and ham on a day that wasn’t a holiday—the dish just screams special day to me. The saltiness of the ham with the creamy cheesy potatoes is hard to resist for sure! One serving of the creamy goodness will add 607 calories, 54.5 grams of fat, and 482 mg of sodium. 

This healthier swap recipe cuts the potatoes in thirds by adding sweet potatoes and turnips into the mix, as well as reduced-sodium ham. It cuts the calories to 120 per serving and boasts only 2 grams of fat!!! Two instead of 54.5! The sodium content is still relatively high at 466 mg. This is a delicious and easy swap that any scalloped-potato lover will enjoy!

MORE: Skinny Potato Soup }

Healthy Holiday Swaps 4
image via flickr user jeffreyw

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Cut your calories in more than half by swapping this awesome savory mashed sweet potato recipe for your favorite mashed russet potato recipe.

On holidays, sweet potatoes are often covered in brown sugar or marshmallows, and the nutritional value is ruined. This savory recipe will keep your calories to 151 per serving and the fat content at just 3.5 grams.

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Healthy Holiday Swaps 5
image via flickr user themarina

Wild Rice Stuffing

I have to admit, this one would be a hard sell in my family. Everyone loves stuffing on Thanksgiving, even if you can’t agree on whether to cook it inside or outside the turkey, but the good stuff  packs 252.5 calories, 5.1 grams of fat, and 678.2 mg of sodium! Whomp, whomp, whomp …

Consider a wild rice stuffing recipe like this, and you can count it as your stuffing and cranberries! (Since it boasts both!) This tasty alternative, while comparable in calories and fat, has 380 mg sodium and much more nutritional value in than white-bread stuffing.

Healthy Holiday Swaps 6
image via flickr user cyclonebill

Pecan Pie Bites

Usually we try not to consider calories while contemplating dessert, especially when it’s something we really love—we’d rather just not think about it. For good reason, too. A slice of pecan pie like this recipe has 525.6 calories, 32.6 grams of fat, and 42.2 grams of sugar!

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If you just can’t live without pecan pie on the holidays, try these pecan pie bites!  Not only are they no-bake, but they’re also vegan and gluten-free!

Which of these healthy swaps sounds best to you? What healthy swaps have you made? 

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5 Healthy Holiday Food Swaps!

Jeanna Strassburg is a wife, and mother of three, who enjoys kitchen dance parties and summer time! Jeanna received her bachelor’s degree in Education from Brigham Young University-Idaho in April of 2007. She enjoys spending her time cooking, cleaning and tending to the proper duties of a stay at home mother… NOPE! Truthfully, she enjoys eating the food, but not making it or cleaning up after it. She likes to have a clean home, but loathes laundry and dishes. Loves her children, but coul ... More

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