Healthy Celebrations

Holidays are full of gatherings that often include food and people. Try the tips below for ways to make these celebrations healthy with your food choices and fun activity. Your guests will thank you for the smart changes you make. Keep it simple though. Try one small change this season.

Make foods look festive
Add some colorful fruits to a favorite dish. Try a new recipe with lots of green and red veggies. For older children, add a sprinkle of almonds or green onions to make you dish stand out. Have the kids work together to make a snowman veggie tray.

Add fun to your beverages
Make ice cubes from 100% juice. Use slices of fruit in your water. Create a “float” by adding a scoop of low-fat sorbet to seltzer water.

Enjoy each bite
Eat slowly to enjoy the taste of each bite of food. Try dishes from your family heritage, then also share family stories while making them. Look for recipes from another culture to liven things up.

Use for great tips
Try new ideas for all the food groups. Offer whole-grain crackers. Serve a spicy bean dip and a veggie tray. Make fruit kabobs. Layer yogurt and fruit to create a sweet parfait. Use whole grains and veggies to make a savory, healthy salad.

Include being active as part of your celebrations
Being physically active improves moods and helps people laugh. Get everyone involved. Some ideas: dancing, playing active games, walking after the meal, and charades.

Make the tasty food healthier
Find ways to cut back on added sugars, salt, and saturated fat as you fix your favorite recipes. Try out some of the recipes from the MyPlate Kitchen Make small changes in your recipes.

Keep it simple
Help others join in the fun. Ask family and guests to bring a healthy dish. Others can help with the clean-up. Give another the job of keeping the kids active and moving.

Use your budget as your guide
Plan your menu with foods that fit your budget. Buy in-season produce. It costs less and tastes better. Shop early to catch the foods on sale that you need. Choose low/no sodium or 100% juice canned goods.

Inspire the family in healthy habits
It’s never too early or too late for adults to set an example. Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all. Join the kids in the games. Children follow what the adults around them do — even at parties.

Adapted from: USDA ChooseMyPlate

Four Corners Health Department offers many resources to help you live healthier. Call 877-337-3573 or send email to For healthy recipes and more, go to

Enjoy a healthy and safe holiday season!