Practical steps to healthy holiday eating

We all enjoy our holiday traditions of eating and drinking special foods and beverages; we even sing about them. But these can cause problems for people who need to manage what they eat and drink for medical reasons.

What do marshmallows, pumpkins, eggnog, popcorn, and pears have in common?

They are  foods associated with holiday recipes, and they’re mentioned in songs about Christmas. You’ll also recognize some less everyday foods like chestnuts , figgy pudding,collard greens, and wassail.

Recipes from Holiday Carols 

sliced orange, orange with cloves

We all enjoy our holiday traditions of eating and drinking special foods and beverages; we even sing about them. But these  can cause problems for people who need to manage what they eat and drink for medical reasons.

Nutritional management is vital to managing these conditions-

  • diabetes and high cholesterol
  • celiac disease/gluten sensitivity
  • nut and other food allergies
  • lactose intolerance
  • overweight/obesity
  • alcohol dependence
  • heart, kidney, and liver dysfunction
  • pregnancy
  • migraine
  • hypertension
  • irritable bowel syndrome
variety of party cookies on a plate

Practical tips for planning Holiday parties and meals

Planning ahead to manage holiday stress applies to cooking, entertaining, and eating during the holiday season.

If you  plan and prepare holiday meals and parties, remember  some attendees need to avoid or restrict certain types of foods. Offer an ample variety of types of food and drinks so  your guests will find something that works for them.

If you have houseguests, they will appreciate your asking them about dietary needs or restrictions so you can  have food available to meet their needs.

If you have special needs in regards to food, it may be wise to offer to bring a dish to an event , or take food to eat if you will be someone’s houseguest.


a table setting at a holiday brunch I attended


5 Healthy Eating Tips for the Holidays

These tips are aimed at those with diabetes, but can work for anyone who wants to maintain healthy eating habits. They suggest

You may not be able to control what food you’re served, and you’re going to see other people eating tempting treats. Meet the challenges armed with a plan.

from the Centers for Disease Control


Delicious gluten free recipes

from PositiveHealthWellness




Maintaining Sobriety While Celebrating  

from Addiction Hope 

“Be able to understand your limitations. Is it easy to say no to a drink in a restaurant setting but hard to avoid alcohol in a home environment? What types of scenarios are triggering to you? Knowing this ahead of time can help you work through this situations and be prepared for what you might encounter.

Having an exit strategy can be a helpful tool to utilize in times of stress or pressure. This might include stepping out to call a trusted friend for support, going out for a walk, or practicing mindfulness techniques.”



Most of all, remember what the season is about—celebrating and connecting with the people you care about. When you focus more on the fun, it’s easier to focus less on the food.


 Sharing the HEART of the holidays

As a Christmas gift to me and your friends, please share this in an email or your social sites. Thanks.


a small cute decorative snowman figure

Dr Aletha

Unfortunately, food allergies don’t take a holiday. This post reviews how those with food allergies can eat well and safely.

How to manage food allergy with confidence

Up to 10% of the population have true food allergy, while 50-90% of people who believe they have food allergy may not. An accurate diagnosis is important so the condition can be managed properly when appropriate, but not needlessly..

Keep reading
%d bloggers like this: