8 Healthy Christmas Foods to Enjoy This Year
Christmas is a time when we usually eat more than necessary, but we mustn’t forget that we can also continue to eat healthy during Christmas meals. In this article, you’ll discover 8 healthy Christmas foods you can enjoy this year.
Healthy Christmas foods
High-calorie Christmas foods, rich in fats and sugars, can be made healthy by adding or replacing them with the following healthy alternatives, both for adults and children.
Why not shake things up and try making seafood this Christmas. Shrimp, crab, and lobster can be eaten grilled, baked, or steamed, but beware of excess salt. They’re a good option, as they’re low in saturated fat and provide quality protein, as well as vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, phosphorus, iron, iodine, and zinc.
In babies, this food group can begin to be introduced when they start complementary feeding, as, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, there’s no guarantee that delaying the intake of certain foods will prevent children from being allergic to them.
2. Clams and mussels
This group of foods, which are the bivalves (clams, cockles, mussels, razor clams…), are also good options for appetizers or accompanying your main fish dishes. They’re high in minerals like copper, iron, and manganese.
We mustn’t forget the vegetables, which can also be included in our Christmas meals in the form of salads, in broth, as raw vegetables, or in canapés. They’re beneficial for excess fat and cholesterol, which are abundant in other foods.
Some ideas are:
- Zucchini roll with goat cheese
- Sprouts and avocado salad with pomegranate
- Vegetable skewers with shrimp
4. Potato and pumpkin, some of the most typical healthy Christmas foods
Tubers such as potatoes and squash can be added as garnishes to main dishes, cooked or roasted, as they’re rich in complex carbohydrates, such as starch, and in water. In addition, pumpkin is rich in antioxidants, carotenoids, due to its orange color.
In addition, you can also make desserts with it, like, for example, this delicious pumpkin cake.
Poultry meats such as chicken, turkey, or partridge, have healthy fatty acids, which are better than red meats, and contain fewer calories. Therefore, they can be a good main dish, like the typical Christmas turkey. In addition, poultry provides 25% protein and contains few purines. Normally, poultry is a food that children like and is nutritious for them.
Both blue and whitefish are healthy foods that we can introduce into our Christmas meals, as they have high-quality proteins and polyunsaturated fats, especially in blue fish such as salmon, tuna, albacore, etc., and they’re rich in vitamins of group B and minerals.
7. Fruits, one of the healthiest Christmas foods
Like vegetables, we shouldn’t forget about fruits on these holidays, as they’re rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They’re perfect to counteract excesses. For example, pineapple helps us with digestion after meals.
The idea is to introduce them as desserts in an original way, for example, making a Christmas tree with them, an easy dessert that the little ones in your house can make. We can also mix them with chocolate or make them in the form of compote. Some ideas that we have to offer are:
- Grapes skewer and dark chocolate syrup.
- A shot of yogurt with applesauce.
8. Nuts and dehydrated fruits
Dehydrated fruits and nuts can be added as appetizers or as part of the dessert. You should keep in mind that dehydrated fruits such as raisins, figs, dates, dried apricots, plums, etc., are more caloric and contain less water and a higher sugar content than natural fruits. Even so, in moderate amounts, they offer us various micronutrients and, above all, a large amount of fiber and antioxidants.
Natural nuts are very healthy foods, as they’re high in mono or polyunsaturated fatty acids, rich in vitamin E, folic acid, magnesium, and antioxidants.
If you want to incorporate them into your desserts, these are some ideas that the whole family will love:
- Artisanal dried fruit nougat
- Date stuffed with chocolate and grated coconut
Encourage the whole family to introduce these foods and cook these recipe ideas!It might interest you...
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Ambiente, y Medio, and Gobierno de España. “Las cualidades nutricionales de los productos procedentes de la pesca extractiva y de la acuicultura: binomio riesgo-beneficio”.
- Xavier, A. A., & Pérez-Gálvez, A. (2016). Carotenoids as a Source of Antioxidants in the Diet. Sub-cellular biochemistry, 79, 359–375. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-39126-7_14
- Asociación Española de Pediatría. (2018) Recomendaciones de la Asociación Española de Pediatría sobre la alimentación complementaria. Disponible en: https://www.aeped.es/sites/default/files/documentos/recomendaciones_aep_sobre_alimentacio_n_complementaria_nov2018_v3_final.pdf