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Need help with your holiday menu? Consider these healthy options

Healthier food options for holiday meals. From left, garlic yogurt mashed potatoes with low-fat g... Healthier food options for holiday meals. From left, garlic yogurt mashed potatoes with low-fat gravy, green bean casserole and pumpkin pudding.
Images courtesy of Healthy IU
Heading into the holiday season, menus for gatherings of family and friends are likely to include staples such as ham and turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, rolls and pumpkin pie. But what if you want to try something new?

Or what if you will have guests with special dietary needs, or want to get a jump start on your resolution to eat healthier?

Steven Lalevich, the registered dietitian for Healthy IU, offers some twists on traditional fare and some alternative dishes to provide variety and healthier options. You can see the recipes on this meal guide:

  • Appetizer: Greek yogurt ranch dip. Serve this with fresh vegetables for a low-calorie, nutrient-dense start to your holiday meal.
  • Main dish: Save calories by choosing white meat over dark meat and removing the skin.
  • Side dish: Garlic yogurt mashed potatoes with low-fat turkey gravy. Mashed potatoes and gravy are both often loaded with extra calories from fat, but these low-fat options are great for trimming calories.
  • Side dish: Stuffing with cranberries. This stuffing checks all the boxes, providing whole grains, fruits and vegetables while also being low in calories.
  • Side dish: Green bean casserole. This version of a holiday classic is lower in calories, fat and sodium.
  • Dessert: Pumpkin pudding. The pumpkin in this low-sugar dessert is a great source of antioxidant carotenoids.

As you navigate the holidays and possibly pledge to start the new year with a resolve to eat healthier, Healthy IU offers resources to help, such as: