Here are seven healthy alternatives you can enjoy as healthy Christmas treats or to include in Thanksgiving healthy recipes for your healthy holidays.

The season for spending time with family, friends, and loved ones has finally arrived—healthy holidays to be cherished! This marks an opportune moment to unwind, revel in joyful company, and savor the festive spread of food and treats that evoke the spirit of the holidays. However, amidst the feelings of joy and love, there’s a concern for the potential weight gain during this festive season.

Fear not, as there’s a reassuring approach to maintain your goals in a moderate manner—healthy holidays need not be synonymous with stress, worry, or constant preoccupation with food. Embracing a balanced approach allows you to relish the festivities without compromising your well-being. Here’s to celebrating happy and healthy holidays!

Trust us, these healthy holiday substitutes will be a hit.


Simple Food and Recipes Alternatives for Healthy Holidays

Use for Thanksgiving healthy recipes and as healthy Christmas treats

Instead of Cream Cheese use Greek Yogurt or Hummus as Substitutes for Healthy Holidays 

Whether you put it on your bagel or use it for recipes, a serving of cream cheese gets filled up as swiftly as it’s put on breakfast toast or a bagel. 

Along with lean protein-rich Greek-style yogurt, hummus makes for an excellent cream cheese substitute thanks to fiber, protein and healthy fats. 

Try these yummy ideas:

  • Use greek yogurt in place of cream cheese for your sauces
  • Make stuffed mushrooms, pasta, or peppers using greek yogurt in place of cream cheese
  • Use hummus or greek yogurt as a dip with raw veggies

Instead of Pasta use Veggie Noodles for Christmas or Thanksgiving healthy recipes

Zucchini, spaghetti squash, and legume-based noodles are all tasty holiday alternatives that will satisfy your pasta craving without carbs or calories. 

Red lentil pasta, black bean pasta, and chickpea pasta are all good alternatives to other pasta. 

Not in the mood for vegetables? 100% whole wheat pasta is a better than white flour option too!

Try these nourishing recipe ideas:

  • Swap zucchini noodles for traditional noodles for your pasta dish or accompanying meat
  • Skip the refined grains and make a hearty spaghetti squash and meatball dish
  • Serve up butternut squash or sweet potato noodles with a drizzle of oil and spices like rosemary, sage, and basil 
  • Make a low-carb pesto noodle dish with zucchini noodles, avocado, and a boost of protein

Instead of Potatoes use Cauliflower, Sweet Potatoes, or Winter Squash for healthy holidays and to Avoid Holiday Weight gain 


Mashed potatoes are a beloved holiday dish, but it’s not prudent to blindly throw caution to the wind–especially because we never eat just one serving! 

To make your holiday meals healthier and maximize taste, replace potatoes with one of these nutritious holiday alternatives.

Changing white potatoes for cauliflower can save you carbs and calorie consumption. 

Worried about giving up potatoes completely? Make half your meal with potatoes and half with cauliflower!

Sweet potatoes, as well as winter squash, provide more nutrients and fewer calories than your typical potato.

Try these nourishing recipe ideas:

  • Mashed cauliflower with almond milk and olive oil (added benefit to replace milk with nut milk, and butter with olive oil)
  • Baked potatoes with olive oil and a greek yogurt dip
  • Fried winter squash slices to add to your roast

Are you looking to stay on track in your weight loss journey by developing eating and lifestyle habits you enjoy (without feeling deprived), can rely on, and help you to stick with?



Instead of Bread use Roasted Veggies for Healthy Holidays Alternatives


Between the stuffing, breadcrumbs, and bread rolls, holidays are a gluten overload. 

Less gluttonous solution: Incorporate roasted veggies in place of bread. 

Roasted veggies are full of fiber that can help fill the plate and your stomach to decrease bread cravings. If really you can’t live without bread, eat sourdough or a wholewheat option.

Try these ideas:

  • Make your favorite toast sans the bread! For a savory option, try sweet potato avocado toast. 
  • Craving something sweet? Toast up a slice of sweet potato and top it with yogurt and nut butter 
  • Use eggplant, large mushrooms, or sweet potatoes as a bun replacement for burgers
  • Use roasted veggies like carrots or sweet potato wedges as a dipping vehicle for your favorite sauces or spreads instead of bread
  • Make a no-bread stuffing using hearty veggies like sweet potato, mushrooms, cauliflower, and carrots

Instead of Milk Chocolate use Dark Chocolate for Healthy Christmas Treats helping to minimize the Holiday weight gain 


Chocolate has been getting a bad press due to commercially used Milk chocolate with added milk and sugars making this an ingredient worthy of a swap. 

No need to skip chocolate as there is a healthy alternative, dark chocolate

While dark chocolate contains heart-healthy antioxidants and minerals like magnesium, it can have just as much sugar. 

To ensure you’re making healthy holiday swaps, choose dark chocolate that is at least 70% to obtain the most flavanols and includes healthy sugar alternatives such as stevia.

Instead of Sugar use Medjool Dates for healthier holidays alternatives


Rather than relying on white and even brown sugar, opt for a sugar substitute that comes from nature. Dates are naturally sweet, and their high fiber content delivers a slow release of energy to your body.

Dates are a great option for smoothies and baked goods as they an unadulterated, natural, and full of fiber, minerals, vitamins, and sweetness. 

Stevia, sugar alcohols, and coconut sugar make for additional healthy holiday swaps when replacing sugar.

Try these ideas:

  • Add 2-3 dates to your smoothie to add sweetness
  • Replace sugar with dates when baking a cake
  • Make a date jam as a spread

Instead of Heavy Cream (or Milk) use Cashew or Other Nut Milk for a healthier alternative for your Thanksgiving healthy recipes


Cream and Milk are becoming more prevalent during the holiday season. We’re intending to speak eggnog, mashed potatoes, even spinach –it s no surprise that our stomachs are bloated and our pants feel a little tighter this time of year when we consume such a rich diet! 

If a recipe calls for milk or a creamy base, swap them for almond or cashew milk, or cashew cream.

Nut milk is rich in healthy unsaturated fats, plant-based, and protein-rich.

Here are yummy ways to use non-dairy milk this holiday season:

  • Make a dairy-free eggnog with cashew or coconut milk and warming spices. 
  • Mix your favorite dairy-free milk into any baked goods holiday recipe as a 1:1 swap for dairy milk
  • Use non-dairy milk such as coconut, cashew, or oat milk to thicken any recipe (think: gravy, mashed potatoes, or homemade caramel sauce)
  • Add a splash to your morning coffee or holiday latte

More dairy-free healthy swaps:

  • Instead of cream cheese, try nut butter or nut-based cream cheese! 
  • Swap coconut oil in place of butter for all your cooking and baking needs
  • Instead of mayo or yogurt, try avocado!
  • Instead of cheese, try nutritional yeast
  • Try banana ice cream in place of ice cream

Are you worried to lose out on fun evenings and delicious food when trying to find healthier alternatives to lose weight even after the holidays?

Check out my Food Freedom Foundation Workshop to learn how to lose weight without getting side-tracked so you can gain confidence and energy.

Healthy Holiday Foods That Are Good for Your Diet

Not all holiday food is bad. Here’s a look at some foods you might find at the holiday table that are delicious and full of good nutrition. 

Just be mindful of the accompaniment and use the above guidelines.


Turkey is a good source of lean protein, zinc, iron, potassium and B vitamins. To keep turkey as lean as possible, avoid adding extra fat and sodium by only using a small amount of gravy and avoiding the skin. 

Green Beans

Green beans contain fiber and vitamins. They’re delicious all on their own –opt for simple steamed green beans rather than the ubiquitous high-calorie, high-sodium green bean casserole.


Walnuts, almonds, and pecans are full of minerals, protein, and healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Sprinkle a few chopped nuts on a salad or side dish or nibble on a few as an appetizer.


are tasty, but tart. They’re an excellent source of vitamins and fiber. They’re a good addition to vegetable side dishes but be mindful of added sugar. Cranberry juice makes a nice beverage when you combine it with something sweeter like grape or apple juice.

Fruits for Dessert

Sliced fruit goes nicely with a bit of cheese and crackers for starters. Fresh fruit also makes for a nice dessert, or you can go a little more upscale and enjoy poached pears or raisin-stuffed apples. 

Berries (and Yogurt)

Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are sweet and nutritious. Parfaits made with yogurt and berries with a sprinkling of chopped nuts make for a healthful and delicious dessert. 


Your body needs to stay hydrated, especially if you dine on a bit too much salty ham or enjoy too many adult beverages. Drink water throughout the party and when you get home. Mix wine with sparkling water for a lighter version if you are drinking alcohol.

Cruciferous Vegetable

Kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower are all low in calories, extremely nutritious, and taste superb. Fill your plate with any of these veggies if you have the chance.


I believe that you don’t need to lose out on fun evenings and delicious food when trying to find healthier alternatives to lose weight or avoid holiday weight gain.


Are you looking to stay on track in your weight loss journey by developing eating and lifestyle habits you enjoy (without feeling deprived), can rely on, and help you to stick with?


Do you want to stop worrying about lack of willpower, procrastination, or self-sabotage? 

If so, I’ve got something for you.

Sign up for my FREE Food Freedom Foundation Workshop which offers a step-by-step system that helps overweight people who lack time to lose weight without getting off track and finally feel confident and have long-lasting energy to engage in the activities they enjoy.