If there’s one thing your body will get enough of this silly season, it’s sugary treats.
Going to Christmas parties is of course, great fun, but comes with tables and buffets of less than stellar food options. If you like to eat healthy or are watching your weight, then you might find it a little bit of a struggle to eat well this season.
To help you out we have trawled the internet for some healthy Christmas party treats, so when you need to bring a plate, you have some better options (without losing any of the Christmas spirit!)
Great for School Christmas parties as well
These treats not only look and taste great, but are sure to please even the fussiest of eaters. If you are facing a string of events where you or your child need to bring a plate, the options below are a fantastic go-to.
Schools and kindergartens these days are putting more pressure on for parents to bring healthy snacks to class parties, and this makes complete sense.
You can make healthy food look inviting by working on your plating up skills. If you use some imagination and get your treats to look extra Christmassy, they will snap it up.
Some Basic Healthy Guidelines
If you are catering your own Christmas do, or sending a plate to school with your children, there are some easy healthy guidelines you can follow.
Include as much fruit and veggies as you can sneak in, you can never have too many fruit and vegetables. Other healthy ingredients include cheese or yogurt (watch out for sugar content), lean protein like ham, tuna, legumes or egg, and whole grains like rice or grain bread.
If you are making your own baked goods like muesli bars or fruit muffins, look for recipes that are lower in sugar or are naturally sweetened with things like honey, maple syrup or apple puree.
Even if you are making cakes or muffins, you can still get lots of fruit and veggies into them; look for recipes including apple, banana, carrot, zucchini, beetroot or other super-healthy goodies.
Savory ideas and vegetables
Buy some clear disposable cups and grab a couple of colors of permanent marker, and you can craft your own Christmas cups.
Draw belts on some and then fill them with red vegetables like cherry tomatoes and capsicum. Or try drawing tinsel and baubles on others and then fill them with luscious green vegetables like celery and broccoli to make Christmas trees.
Pop a dollop of homemade hummus or salsa in the bottom for a tasty dipping treat.
You could also go all out with an entire Christmas grazing platter, like these ones:
This one is a huge hit with kids. Put a plate of these out at a party and they are guaranteed to get snapped up immediately.
All you need are wooden kebob sticks, fresh fruit, and your own imagination. Channel your inner Christmas spirit and make use of red, green and white fruit to get the perfect look. You can top them off with a piece of watermelon cut into a star with a cookie cutter.
We also love these cute fruit grinches:
Individual Christmas trifles
Try a twist on the yogurt parfait and instead make a healthy Christmas trifle. Pop Christmassy layers of yogurt, fruit, and muesli into clear cups or individual dessert dishes.
Here is one recipe which we like for the colors and flavors, but you can play around with what you have on hand.
Christmas Tree Muesli Bars
There are lots of recipes online for things like brownies that you can then decorate to look like Christmas trees or wrapped up gifts.
At Eric’s we like the idea of making a healthier version by baking a muesli bar slice instead of a brownie, then get your decorating inspiration from the more sugar-laden recipes, like this one:
Christmas bliss balls are also a wonderful alternative to more sugary treats, and pack a fantastic protein punch. You don’t need to save these ones for Christmas parties, they are a great snack to have on hand any time you need something to grab and go.
Bliss balls look wonderfully Christmassy rolled in coconut, silver cachous or red and green 100s and 1000s. You could pop some in a pretty box and give them out as gifts to friends as well.
We like these recipes:
If you are facing the Christmas party, then you probably have to consider whether or not to imbibe in some extra seasonal cheer. It can be a difficult time of year to avoid alcohol or keep your intake down.
Often a few extra alcohol drinks can throw out your calorie count, not just in what is the drinks themselves, but also in the unhealthier food choices we make when we are drinking.
Here are some tips for staying healthy while facing Christmas drinks:
- Don’t start the night on an empty stomach. Start your evening with a full belly from a healthy dinner of vegetables, lean protein, and lovely wholegrains.
- Alternate drinks with water
- Try spritzers by adding soda water to wine, champagne or spirits, with a twist of seasonal fruit
- Look for low carb beers
- Stay away from eggnog and anything cream-based. Stick with fruit or ice-based drinks.
We also love these Christmas cocktails and mocktails for a much more body-friendly option that still look and feel festive.
if you are trying to stay healthy, or keep your family eating better through the holidays, it can be done. All you need is some extra planning. Make sure you have lots of good food options and make them look as festive and inviting as possible.
Little treats are great in moderation – don’t deny yourself anything completely or you might go completely overboard. If there is a Christmas treat that you really adore, you should still have some, just watch your portions!
Food and alcohol can, unfortunately, be the central focus of many Christmas get-togethers, which can make it hard to stay healthy. Try to focus instead on other parts of the holiday, such as catching up with family and friends, Christmas decorating and arts and crafts, and even some extra exercise like dancing at the party, to help you look after yourself this silly season.