Healthy Holiday Food Swaps

Elyn Cone

Celebrate the holidays (and your pregnancy) with these healthy food swaps.

While Thanksgiving may be over and you may still be recovering, the holiday season is still upon us. So as you get ready for the festivities, remember that the age-old myth of eating for two could be detrimental as your pregnancy progresses. At the same time, satisfying your cravings is an innate need — during the holidays and pregnancy. Because it’s all about balance, here are 6-holiday food swaps that will help you pack in all the nutrients you need as you and the bump are ringing in the new year.

  • Appetizer: While bacon-wrapped dates are a fun party staple, why not try a crudité platter with a greek yogurt-based dip as a starter? You can use 2% greek yogurt for the healthy fat and add some of your favorite spices and herbs. Check out FlavorGod’s collection of seasonings including a ranch-based blend, a lemon and garlic, and a BBQ flavor blend – made without preservatives and paleo-friendly. With this dip platter, you’ll snag some fiber, antioxidants, and protein.
  • Side: We get it, mashed potatoes are so, so good, but they are also rich and can leave you with some serious heartburn. So try to swap the potatoes with cauliflowers. Mashed cauliflowers aren’t as caloric and have fewer carbohydrates. It’s also packed with vitamin C, which can help boost immunity — something you definitely need while you are busy growing a baby.
  • Main Dish: Most traditional entrées include a meat variety (turkey, duck, Cornish hen, pork), which is always an excellent source of protein. But opting for a vegetarian and lower-carb entrée is a good way to get fiber, vitamins, and minerals without spiking your blood sugar. Our suggestion? Zucchini lasagna! It’s festive and delicious. For the sauce, you could either make it with ground meat or keep it simple with a marinara.
  • Dessert: While noshing on cookies, cupcakes, or cake seems satisfying at the moment, the post-prandial sugar rush could leave you feeling extremely tired and even lethargic. Instead of a full-fat, high-sugar dessert, opt for black bean brownies, a flourless and protein-rich treat that will no doubt satisfy your sweet tooth without slowing you down.
  • Condiments: Most traditional chutney or relish recipes — either store-bought or homemade — can be very rich and sugary. Though you may not usually care, you are pregnant, so now is the time for healthy substitution. A fresh fig chutney is a tasty and nutritious option because of its fiber and potassium. If you’re feeling constipated during pregnancy, help yourself to a spoonful (or two!) of this chutney.
  • Drink: Instead of apple cider (or any cider for that matter), stick to a simple homemade infused flavored water recipe. Choose either sparkling or still water and zest it up with cucumber, mint, or fresh fruit such as berries or orange slices.


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