Healthier Holiday Foods from our Dietitian Friends

By Anne Danahy MS RDN


The holidays might be all about indulging on sweets, treats, and lots of party foods, but one group that knows how to balance things out is dietitians! We all love to splurge, especially this time of the year, but we also know that the secret to enjoying all the treats without all the regrets come January, is to sprinkle in lots of healthy options too.

Here are some favorite healthier holiday appetizers, side dishes and even desserts from our food blogging registered dietitian friends – check them out and maybe you’ll find a few new dishes to help keep your holiday table a little bit more balanced.

Get your party started with a healthy appetizer like these yummy Butternut Squash Bites from Tawny Graham at Krolls Korner:


Butternut Squash Bites

Apple Brie Crostini Appetizers from Cara Harbstreet at Street Smart Nutrition are easy, healthy, and delicious too.

Layered Hummus Dip from Lisa Andrews at Soundbites Nutrition is not only good for you but it’s also bright and beautiful!

One of my favorite appetizers is Turmeric Ginger Pickled Cauliflower. It’s a surprising pop of flavors that’s always a hit with friends and family. Find it on my blog, Craving Something Healthy.

Cranberry Salsa from Sarah Garone at A Love Letter to Food, is a fresh and spicy take on traditional cranberry sauce and a delicious accompaniment to any main dish.

This Warm Salad with Pomegranate Balsamic Dressing from Rebecca Clyde at Nourish Nutrition is full of butternut squash, kale, and all of the holiday colors:


Warm Salad with Pomegranate Balsamic Dressing

You can’t go wrong with a little bacon, right? This Roasted Green Beans with Bacon from Kelli Shallal at Hungry Hobby is full of flavor and a healthy side dish for any meal.

This Maple Roasted Delicata Squash Quinoa Salad from Jessica Levinson at Jessica hits all of the holiday flavors in each bite. It’s also hearty enough to stand along as a main dish.

Who doesn’t love carrots? Especially these Roasted Carrots with Curried Yogurt from Jamie Vespa at Dishing Out Health:


Roasted Carrots With Curried Yogurt

And let’s save room for dessert! Ellena’s Peanut Butter Cookies are a family favorite from Toby Amidor at Toby Amidor Nutrition

Karmen from The Nutrition Adventure makes this Dark Chocolate Pistachio Cranberry Bark every year for parties and gifts. I’ll take some:


Dark Chocolate Pistachio Cranberry Bark

No one needs to know that this Holiday Spice Instant Pot Cheesecake from Kitty Broiher at Gluten Free Slow Cooking is low carb and gluten free!

In the mood for more chocolate? These Vegan Dark Chocolate Coconut Snowballs from Jenna Volpe at Whole-istic Living are sure to please.

This Apple Crisp from Mandy Enright at is a quick and easy dessert 5-ingredient dessert with lots of health benefits too.

We hope you have the happiest of holidays and a delicious New Year!