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Healthy Christmas Dinner Swaps


Just because you’re being mindful of your weight doesn’t mean you can’t have a delicious Christmas dinner. Simple substitutions will enable you to cook up a feast that will not only promote your health and wellbeing, but go down a storm with the whole family.





Swap: Dark meat  white meat

Turkey is a brilliant source of protein, also providing you with a healthy dose of B vitamins and therefore sustained energy.

Choose white breast meat instead of dark thigh or leg meat as this is leaner. Also remember to avoid the skin as this is high in fat. Another great tip is to prick the skin of the turkey before cooking and place on a metal trivet inside your roasting tray – this will enable a lot of the fat to drain out instead of allowing the bird to sit cooking in the oil.



Swap: Processed gravy granules  drained turkey juices

Instead of adding boiling water to gravy granules that is full of who-knows-what, instead pour the turkey juices into a jug and wait for the fat to rise to the top before carefully spooning it off before serving.



Swap: Roasted potatoes  baked sweet potato/butternut squash mash

Instead of roasting potatoes in goose fat, simply bake some sweet potatoes or whip up some butternut squash mash. These alternatives are just as delicious but without the high fat content.



Swap: Sausage meat stuffing  roasted chestnut or mushroom stuffing

Swapping to a nut or vegetable based stuffing will save you a heap of calories and fat. They are often more tasty too as you can add extra flavours such as orange, cranberries or apricots.



Swap: Butter  Lemon juice and herbs and spices

You will struggle to go wrong with your choice of veggies, but the difference you can make to them is the way in which you cook them. Keep cooking time to a minimum in order to preserve as many of the vitamins and nutrients as possible. Instead of basting veggies in butter, roast or quickly pan-fry them in lemon juice, herbs and spices with a splash of olive oil if necessary. This will leave you with veggies full of bite, flavour and goodness.

We have a number of suggestions that you could use as inspiration:

  • Spiced red cabbage
  • Roasted cauliflower with garlic and lemon
  • Stir-fried sprouts with bacon and pine nuts
  • Stir-fried green beans with garlic and thyme



Swap: Custard/brandy butter/cream  0% fat Greek yoghurt

It’s only Christmas once a year so we see little harm in enjoying your favourite pudding. But if you want to be mindful still, simply top with a dollop of 0% fat Greek yoghurt, which will add a lovely creamy tang. 


For more about healthy eating please click on the boxes below.

Would you like to find out more about our Employee Nutrition Services? If so call Anna on 07778 218009 or email to arrange an informal chat.

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