Tags: DigIn, DigIn21, Magazine, DigInMagazine, NovDec, holiday tips

Quick Tips for a Happy Holiday

Author: be well™ with Big Y® Registered Dietitian Team

The holidays are an amazing time of year, though it’s easy to feel overwhelmed during the hustle and bustle of it all. Here are our tips for minimizing the feelings of holiday chaos while ensuring a successful celebration:


You may be around calorie-rich options for weeks at a time, so eat accordingly. Attending a holiday party? Bring a dish that’s a bit more healthful than the norm so you have at least one option to help maintain your appetite and waistline.


Get Creative

When cooking with specific medical conditions in mind, there is no need to do without family-favorite holiday recipes.

  • Following a gluten-free meal plan? Don’t give up the holiday stuffing. Simply make your own with gluten-free ingredients such as gluten-free bread cubes or pre-seasoned stuffing mix.
  • Need to reduce sodium? Opt for reduced and no-salt-added ingredients when possible while utilizing fresh and dried herbs, spices and aromatic vegetables like garlic, onion and celery to enhance flavor.
  • Cutting out saturated fat? Play with substitutions such as reduced-fat milk for full-fat cream, fat-free Greek yogurt for mayonnaise and mashed avocado for butter.



It’s true that you want to choose your meal options sensibly, but it’s also true that giving yourself permission to enjoy grandma’s dessert casserole is a must. The answers are:

  • prepare in advance (so hunger doesn’t lead to overeating)
  • choose portion sizes (for tasting versus filling up)
  • savor each and every morsel!


Stay Safe

We all carry germs on our hands, regardless if there is dirt present or not. Whether you’re hosting, bringing a veggie platter or simply a guest, following steps for food and pandemic safety is a must. How can you help keep food safe in all of these situations? Wash your hands.

Wash your hands before and after prepping food (and in between handling raw meats and other food), and before serving yourself from the buffet and eating your own dish, particularly when finger foods are involved.

And as always, follow current local and national recommendations regarding group gatherings, social distancing and mask wearing.

Published 11/3/2021