Published on November 03, 2021

Prepping squash

Making the Holidays Healthy

During the holidays, many people ditch healthy eating because it’s too difficult to stay on track. But celebrating doesn’t mean your diet has to be all or nothing.

“The key,” said Emelie Buell, a registered dietitian with CoreLife Adventist HealthCare, “is to enjoy your favorites in moderation.” Also, simple food swaps can help make your holidays healthier. Here are five easy menu alternatives that balance staying fit and being festive.

1. Fix roasted sweet potatoes instead of white mashed potatoes.

2. Use low-fat milk instead of full-fat milk in dishes.

3. Don’t skip meals! Enjoy healthy, well-balanced meals prior to a holiday party to help avoid overeating.

4. Instead of pairing chips or bread with dip, try vegetables.

5. Make a dark chocolate bark with dried fruit to replace heavier desserts like pies and sugar cookies.

Try Our Healthy Holiday Recipes!

Pumpkin Parfait Dessert

By CoreLife Dietetics Team


  • ½ cup canned pure pumpkin
  • 1/8 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 no-calorie sweetener packets
  • ½ cup light/low-fat ricotta cheese
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 low-fat honey graham crackers (½ sheet), crushed


  1. In a small bowl, combine pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and one sweetener packet. Mix well.
  2. In another small bowl, combine ricotta cheese, vanilla extract, cinnamon and the remaining sweetener packet. Mix well.
  3. Spoon half of the pumpkin mixture into a parfait glass (or any mid-sized glass). Top with half of the ricotta mixture. Repeat layering with remaining pumpkin mixture and ricotta mixture.
  4. Sprinkle with crushed graham crackers and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

  • About 205 calories
  • 13 grams protein
  • 24.5 grams carb
  • 6 grams fiber

Sheet Pan Roasted Vegetables

By CoreLife Dietetics Team


  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. whole-grain mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar, divided
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 lb. peeled cubed butternut squash, about 3 cups
  • 1 lb. parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces, about 2 ¼ cups
  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 8 oz. small Yukon Gold potatoes, halved
  • Cooking spray


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. While the oven is heating, combine oil, mustard, thyme, 2 tsp. vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl, stirring with a whisk.
  2. Combine butternut squash, parsnips, Brussels sprouts and potatoes in a large bowl. Add mustard mixture to bowl, tossing to coat.
  3. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray then spread vegetable mixture in a single layer.
  4. Bake at 450°F for 35 minutes or until browned and tender, stirring gently with a spatula after 25 minutes.
  5. Remove pan from the oven. Drizzle with remaining 1 tsp. vinegar, toss and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

  • About 133 calories
  • 3 grams protein
  • 22 grams carb
  • 6 grams fiber

Set Your Location

Setting your location helps us to show you nearby providers and locations based on your healthcare needs.