13 healthy holiday eating tips

In order to promote healthy eating, eat small portions of your favorite foods and use a small plate or napkin to help with portion control.

The holiday season can be stressful for some people due to changes in routine and social occasions. These adjustments can sometimes lead to unhealthy eating habits and weight gain. Elizabeth Stanton, RD, LDN, a dietitian at Cambridge Health Alliance's Elder Service Plan has a few tips to help you remain healthy throughout the holidays.

Parties and gatherings

  • Focus on socialization, not food, and try to enjoy the company of friends and loved ones.
  • Avoid going hungry and have a small snack, like string cheese or a piece of fruit, before heading out.
  • Bring a vegetable platter or low-fat dessert with you. Fresh fruits and vegetables allow everyone to eat without guilt.
  • Choose small portions of your favorite foods and use a small plate or napkin to help with portion control.
  • Sip on flavored water or diet beverages and avoid high caloric beverages, like eggnog.


  • Make crustless pies, or use egg whites instead of whole eggs, and consider applesauce as a substitute for oil when making bread.
  • Look for low-fat gravy at the grocery store.
  • Make vegetables, green beans, carrots, broccoli and salad, the star of the meal. They are low in calories and high in fiber.
  • Add low sodium broth to mashed potatoes instead of butter and use low-fat mushroom soup in green bean casserole.

Running errands

  • Take a snack or sandwich with you to avoid fast food restaurants.
  • When eating out, try salads with low-fat dressing, baked chicken or fish, and vegetables in place of fries.
  • Order small lunch size meals and share or eat half. Take the leftovers home and enjoy the food later in the week.

Enjoy a low-calorie wine spritzer

  • ½ cup white wine or red wine with ¼ cup club soda or sparkling water. It’s delicious!

Enjoy your time with friends and family! The holidays bring people together and you will want to make the most of your time with those you don’t see often.

Do you know someone 55+ who needs extra support to stay healthy in their home and community? If so, meet the team at CHA's Elder Service Plan and visit www.challiance.org/esp/elder-service-plan or call 617-575-5850. CHA can help older adults who have comprehensive health and social needs that affect their daily lives.

Cambridge Health Alliance

Contributed By: Cambridge Health Alliance

Cambridge Health Alliance is an academic community health care system committed to serving all members of our communities. We have expertise in primary care, mental health and substance abuse, and caring for diverse and complex populations. CHA patients receive high quality care in convenient neighborhood locations, and have seamless access to advanced care through CHA’s affiliation with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. With over 140,000 patients in Cambridge, Somerville Everett and Boston’s Metro North, CHA is working hard to offer the integrated services its communities need now, and in the future.