6 Easy Food Swaps for Healthier Holiday Meals | MOBE

6 Easy Food Swaps for Healthier Holiday Meals

This holiday season, celebrate with healthier twists on your traditional holiday favorites. All it takes is creativity, an open mind—and these healthy holiday food swaps, courtesy of our MOBE Guides. With just a few simple substitutions, you can enjoy seasonal treats and stay on track toward your health goals.

Mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes.

Few things say “holiday meal” like a hearty helping of…mashed cauliflower? Yes! It has a creamy texture and nutty flavor, plus cauliflower is higher in fiber and lower in carbohydrates and calories. It also provides nutrients such as Vitamin K and folate, which are important for healthy bones and red blood cells.

Roasted vegetables instead of a cheesy casserole.

When you roast vegetables in the oven, they take on deep flavor due to caramelization. Skip the fatty, greasy casserole and opt for nutrient- and fiber-rich roasted veggies instead. Looking for inspiration? Try our roasted root vegetable recipe.

Turkey breast instead of a whole turkey.

A whole bird may be more Instagram-worthy, but a boneless, skinless turkey breast is a healthier option. Compared to dark meat, it has only 30% of the fat and 70% of the calories. Plus, a turkey breast cooks faster and is a great choice for smaller groups.

Avocado instead of butter or mayonnaise.

Avocados add richness and creaminess—not to mention potassium, Vitamin C, and fiber—to a wide variety of holiday dishes. Substitute mashed avocado for an equal amount of butter and cut up to 40% of the fat from your cakes and cookies (and see if your family can tell the difference!). Or swap out for mayonnaise to trim fat, cholesterol, and sodium from salad dressings and dips.

Brown rice or quinoa instead of white rice.

Because brown rice is a whole grain and quinoa is a seed, they are higher in fiber than white rice, so you’ll feel full longer after eating them. Plus, both brown rice and quinoa are packed with nutrients like Vitamin B-1 and phosphorus, which help your body convert food into fuel and build strong bones.

Zucchini or squash instead of pasta.

Use an inexpensive spiralizer or your trusty kitchen cheese grater to make colorful noodles from zucchini, butternut squash, and more. It’s a great way to cut unnecessary carbohydrates and calories from your diet while adding vegetables, which provide important vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Even more swaps to try:

  • Stuffing is a holiday staple, but recipes featuring ground pork can be high in fat. Try substituting with a leaner option like ground turkey. Or go meatless with flavor-packed chestnuts or walnuts, which provide protein, dietary fiber, and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
  • If mashed potatoes are a must-have, use low-sodium chicken broth instead of butter or cream. It adds richness and flavor without the high fat and calories.
  • Creamy, rich, and delicious, nonfat plain Greek yogurt can replace sour cream or traditional dips. It has only one-third of the calories and a fraction of the fat. Plus, it offers three times as much protein and includes helpful bacteria that can improve gut health.
  • Providing fiber and important nutrients like Vitamin C and potassium, unsweetened applesauce brings a sweet, soft texture to holiday baking. Substitute an equal amount of applesauce for butter or oil—and cut the fat and calories.

Explore even more healthy eating ideas by talking with a MOBE Guide. Get started today.