7 Healthy Tips for Enjoying Holiday Meals

7 Healthy Tips for Enjoying Holiday Meals

While planning my sister’s baby shower a few years ago, my sister asked me if we could go carb free for health reasons. We both knew this required telling our sweet, Italian mama.  Here’s how the conversation went down:

Me: So, we were talking and wanted to go carb free for the baby shower meal.

Our sweet Italian mama: Sure, sounds good. I’m going to order breaded chicken, salad, pasta, pizza and bread.

Me: That’s not carb free.

Our sweet Italian mama:  Ok. We won’t get bread.

We ended up with the bread because you can’t have pasta without bread.  As you can see, you can’t stop an Italian mother from serving delicious food and I will never stop her from doing this! I love the food my mom has at holidays and parties, so I need to change the way I view eating at such events.

With tomorrow being Easter, and the start of the summer cookout season rapidly approaching, I decided to go in with a game plan.

Here are the 7 tips that I’m going to use:

1. Don’t Go Hungry

Make sure to eat a healthy meal beforehand. I’m making overnight oats today to eat before heading over to my mom’s house for dinner tomorrow.  See the bottom of this post for my recipe!

2. Exercise in the Morning

I’m planning on hitting the gym before heading over to my mom’s in the afternoon.  I’ve found that working out in the morning is the best time for me because I’m more mindful of what I eat for the rest of the day.

3. Drink Plenty of Water

I’m bringing my trusty water bottle with me and I plan on sipping it through the day and before/during dinner.

4. Bring Something Healthy You Can Snack On

This was a tip from a dietitian I saw last year. She suggested bringing something healthy (like veggies and hummus) to a party so I know I’ll have something healthy to eat.  My mom is going to have a veggie tray to snack on before the meal, so this is taken care of!  ?

5. Eat Everything- Just Watch Portions

Of course, I’m going to eat everything my mom prepares, but I am going to watch how much of it I do eat.  Portion control is everything when it comes to holiday meals.

6. Be Mindful of How You Eat Food

This tip is more for cookout season. Eat the hamburger without bun. Load up on fruit salad. Drink water instead of soda. Bring a veggie tray if asked to bring anything. Eat a small piece of dessert. My husband and I usually share a dessert since I just want a few bites (my weakness is Italian bread anyway ?)

7. Offer to Cook the Meal

A few times I’ve prepared a holiday meal, I had no appetite to eat it when it was finished.  Smelling the food all day made me not hungry, so when it was time to sit down, I didn’t eat much.  Plus, if you are cooking, you can control how you make the meal, watching how much salt and fat is added and making sure healthy dishes are prepared. This tip doesn’t work for everyone and since I’m not preparing the meal tomorrow, I’ll have to rely on tips 1-6 to help me through!

What are some tips you use to avoid holiday overeating? Comment below!


Here’s my overnight oats recipe. There are tons of recipes for overnight oat recipes online. This is one that I use, varying the fruit and nuts. 

Overnight Oats


1 pint size mason jar

 ½ cup of steel cut oats (or regular oats)

1 tablespoon of chia seeds

1 teaspoon of brown sugar, honey OR maple syrup if using plain yogurt. If it’s flavored yogurt, you don’t need to add this. I used plain yogurt and honey for this recipe.

1/3 cup of Greek Yogurt (plain or favored)

2/3 cup of milk

1 cup of berries

Almonds or walnuts


Pour the oats in the jar first. This is where the mason jar comes in handy since it has measurements on the side.

1.Measure and add the oats, chia seeds, honey/brown sugar or maple syrup and Greek yogurt to the mason jar. TIP: If you use honey, warm the spoon first by running it under hot water before scooping up the honey. It will slide off the spoon easier. 2. Add milk and stir.

3. Add fruit and nuts and stir.

4. Put lid on and place in refrigerator overnight. You may need to add more milk in the morning, depending on how thick or thinned out you prefer your oatmeal. Eat cold and enjoy!



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