The hardest time to stick to a diet is around the holidays. Everyone wants to sample the desserts and filling foods on the dinner table. This Christmas, choose healthier menu items for your Christmas dinner.

It is not uncommon for people to gain a few pound during Christmas. After a week of eating every scrumptious thing in sight, it’s a wonder anyone can move. This Christmas, you can help yourself and your family by slimming down traditional recipes.

Adapting Christmas recipes to healthier versions doesn’t mean that they have to taste bland. On the contrary, these dinner recipes can be full of flavor. It is fat we are trying to avoid.

Simple changes are the easiest and best to make. Some simple substitutions involve the most fattening ingredients. For example, use liquid oil and applesauce in place of liquid oil alone. Use margarine in place of butter and sugar substitutes instead of pure sugar. Many recipes have suggestions for healthy substitutions.

We eat too much and our portion sizes are out of control. Making simple substitutions lowers the fat content of our Christmas dinner dishes even if we eat a bit too much. For home made recipes, substitutions will go on feel and experience.


When making gravy for the turkey, begin with a can or jar of fat free turkey gravy. Add the turkey drippings from the baking pan to the fat free gravy. Season the food to taste. For thicker gravy, add some chicken broth and a few instant potato flakes to the drippings before adding it to the fat free gravy.

Mashed Potatoes:

Mashed potatoes are a favorite Christmas dinner side dish to complement turkey and gravy. When making the potatoes, substitute half of the potatoes with cauliflower. Mash both together well.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes - Low Calorie, Low Fat Recipe


6 med potatoes
6 unpeeled garlic cloves
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp fresh chopped or 1/4 tsp dried rosemary leaves
1/3 to 1/2 cup low-fat milk


Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Wash potatoes and poke holes in them to let steam escape. Wrap garlic in foil. Bake potatoes and garlic 1 hour or until potatoes are done.

Open garlic packet and allow to cool. Cut potatoes into halves, spoon potatoes into large bowl. (Save skins for another use or discard.) Remove skins from garlic and add garlic to the bowl. Heat oil and rosemary over med heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add oil mixture and salt to the bowl.
Mash until fluffy, adding milk until desired consistency.

Makes 6 servings ...1 serving = 140 calories, 5 grams fat

Soups and Salads:

Serve a soup and salad before putting the main courses on the table. A low fat vegetable soup like tomato and a simple green salad fills part of the stomach and everyone will eat less later on. Make available an assortment of low fat salad dressings for the salad.

Christmas Turkey:

Even the Christmas dinner turkey can slim down. Instead of preparing an entire twenty pound turkey, opt for a turkey breast instead. To maintain tenderness and moistness, marinade the thawed turkey breast before cooking. Remove any skin before serving.


One place we often fill up on empty calories is beverages. Instead of soda, serve punch sweetened with sugar substitute like Splenda®. Ice tea can also be sweetened with sugar substitute and lemons. Flavored waters are another option.

Christmas dinner doesn’t have to be fattening to be delicious. With a few healthy tweaks, many won’t notice the difference. This year, expand your repertoire of healthy Christmas dinner choices instead of expanding the waistline.

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