dFriendly Sides: Healthy Holiday Eating

Too many starchy side dishes can easily foil the family feast. Follow these tips and tricks for traditional holiday eating without the excess carbs and calories.

By Marlene Koch, author of Eat What You Love: More than 300 Incredible Recipes Low in Sugar, Fat and Calories

 alt=A typical holiday dinner can deliver 2,000 to 4,000 calories, depending on what (and how much) fills up your holiday plate. Typical side dishes like mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and Yorkshire puddings — plus those gingerbread men or celebratory glass of champagne — can make your holiday feast as excessive in carbohydrates as it is in calories. Healthy holiday eating can be a challenge. The good news is that with a little bit of planning, a few healthy holiday eating and cooking tricks, and some great recipes, you can transform your holiday sides from meal plan killers into meal plan makers.

Plan Ahead

Comfort Food

  • Budget your carbs. Review your meal plan and determine ahead of time which starchy or sugar-laden items you will budget for in your healthy holiday eating plan. Once they are on your plate, you'll be able to pile the empty space with non-starchy sides or lean turkey to keep temptation at bay.


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Last Modified Date: February 25, 2014

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by Brenda Bell
After spending way too much money on a few packages of Christmas candy and cookies, and ingredients for the Gingerbread Cheesecake my sister was intent on making, and viewing the usual upcoming January ads (exercise equipment, diet foods, and big-screen TVs for Super Bowl Sunday), my natural cynicism started taking form... Why do we overindulge in... everything... these last six weeks of the year? "Christmas comes but once a year." Christmas...