It can be hard to choose nutritious foods through the holiday season. Fortunately, the following healthy Christmas treats and snacks can make your choices a little easier!
There’s a lot to love about the Christmas season, and special family food and meals are definitely a big highlight!
All the emphasis on food can mean a lot of overeating and even a little weight gain, which is okay! But if you’re ready to forgo the cookies in favor of some treats with a few more nutritional benefits, we’ve got some ideas for healthy Christmas treats!Jump to Recipe
How Can I Stay Healthy Around Christmas?
Christmas may be the festive season of delicious food and drinks, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stay healthy. Try getting in some fresh air and physical activity during the holidays, whether it’s a wintery run or a walk with the family. It’s also important to find healthy ways to relieve stress, too, something most parents deal with around the holidays. Make a plan, give yourself grace, and keep on moving! Balance is key, and it’s okay to indulge a bit more around the holidays.
While it’s easy to frequently overindulge, remember to think before you eat. What is causing you to crave a sugary treat? A strong emotion? Boredom? Looking for a hit of dopamine? Take care to check in with yourself and your emotions from time to time. While cookies and cake can help you get an instant mood boost, it would serve you better to navigate the ins and outs of your emotions around the holiday season. Knowing yourself, your brain, your emotions, and your body is the healthiest way to become the best version of yourself.
If you’re really concerned about gaining weight (understandable if you have to fit into that one dress in the back of your closet you bought for New Year’s Eve). That’s where smaller choices can really add up to help prevent unwanted winter weight gain and help keep you feeling comfortable.
What Are Some Healthy Christmas Cookie Recipes?
Healthy cookies? How does that work? We use the term “healthy” loosely, as any cookie should be a treat. They’re more like “healthier cookie recipes.” The key is they cut back or forgo rich, indulgent ingredients like butter, processed sugar, and refined white flour. Try one of these healthy Christmas cookie recipes to stay on track this holiday season.
- Chewy, Spiced, Molasses Cookies – Backstrap molasses are a great substitute for refined sugar in spiced cookie recipes, and plus they add a little kick! Check out this cookie recipe for a yummy treat that you can feel good about eating!
- Gingerbread Cookies – Few flavors define the season quite like gingerbread! Use whole wheat flour, oat flour, coconut oil, and sweetened to perfection with maple syrup and brown sugar, these soft gingerbread cookies are incredibly delicious. Check out the recipe here!
- Healthy Holiday Buckeyes – We all know the classic buckeye no-bake cookie: peanut butter fudge dipped in chocolate. But with a few simple changes, this can be a protein-packed treat! For the cookies, use 1 cup of all-natural peanut butter, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, 1/2 cup of vanilla protein powder, and 2 tbsp of maple syrup. Combine all the ingredients, form into balls, and dip in dark chocolate! Pop them in the fridge and in a few hours, you’ll have a tasty, healthy treat!
What Are Some Healthy Christmas Treats to Make?
There’s more to healthy Christmas snacks than simply baking cookies. Instead of reaching for sugar-laden treats, try one of these items for an automatic boost!
- Reindeer Granola – Instead of reaching for something heavy like pancakes or French toast, granola can be a fun seasonal snack. Simply make a yogurt parfait with your granola, aka “reindeer food,” for healthy Christmas treats for toddlers! Add some Christmas spices like cinnamon and a few fruits for extra vitamins.
- Dark Chocolate Pistachio Bark – This easy recipe combines not one but two healthy foods! While the pistachios provide protein, the dark chocolate gives an antioxidant boost. Share this easy healthy snack with other parents on your favorite family app!
Dark Chocolate Pistachio Holiday Bark
- 24 oz dark chocolate chips (or 4 1/2 cups)
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup chopped pistachios
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries (optional)
Dark Chocolate Pistachio Holiday Bark
- Prepare your baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Create a double boiler by filling a saucepan with about 2-3 inches of water, and bring to a boil.
- Then, place glass bowl on top of the sauce pan, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t actually touch the water. Add your dark chocolate chips to the glass bowl.
- Stir the chocolate chips as they slowly melt. You want texture to be smooth and pourable. Pour the melted chocolate onto your baking sheet, and spread evenly until you have a layer about 1/4" thick.
- Sprinkle the chopped pistachios, cranberries, and coarse sea salt evenly over the chocolate.
- Place the entire baking sheet into the freezer for about 25-30 minutes, to allow the chocolate to completely freeze.
- Remove from the freezer and break the chocolate into uneven pieces, and enjoy.
- Store in the freezer up to one month.
- ** You can substitute dark chocolate for white chocolate for another fun and festive treat!
- Apple Peanut Butter Sandwiches – Your kids might enjoy apples and peanut butter any old time. Add a fun twist by stacking them into sandwiches and making unique cut-outs like a snowman or Christmas tree! This is among the healthy Christmas treats for a school party that will impress everyone. Also, you don’t have to bake these sweet snacks!
- Chia Seed Pudding Parfaits – This is a healthy holiday snack that will satisfy your sweet treat craving while adding some extra fiber and nutrients! While you can choose to add seasonal flavors to add like cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and maple syrup, you can also add red and green fruits like strawberries and kiwi to your pudding for some festive pops of color. For the chia seed base, add 2 Tbsp of chia seeds to 1/2 cup of almond milk (or milk of your choice), add any sweetener you’d like, mix, then pop it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, you can add all your favorite toppings and mix-ins!
- Grinch Fruit Kabobs – These are adorable and have mostly healthy ingredients! Skewer a green grape with a toothpick. Add a banana slice on top. Then, remove the stem from a strawberry and add it upside-down to the top (this is the hat). Finally, add a mini marshmallow to the top for the puffball at the end of his grinchy Santa hat! This is a great school snack or something easy to bring to the holiday party!
- Nice Cream – Ice cream is a great treat every once in a while, but it’s easy to turn into an everyday habit. While we certainly recommend indulging in real ice cream from time to time, try making “nice cream,” too! Pop 4 cups of frozen banana slices and 2-4 tablespoons of the milk of your choice into a food processor or blender. Freeze your nice cream 1-2 hours. Then it’ll scoop like ice cream! Add any additional flavors or toppings you want, too!
- Sweet Potato Bites – Sweet potatoes have lots of beta-carotene, which is rich in vitamin A! Slice them into bites, top with a bit of butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, and bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes. Then, top each one with a marshmallow and broil for one minute. Sprinkle the tops with pecan halves, and you’re all set!
Delicious and Nutritious Holiday Recipes
There are so many snacks and treats around during the holiday season. Sometimes, your body starts to crave something other than that plate of cookies. Fortunately, there are ways that you can stay healthy during Christmas and indulge in more nutritious treats. Do you have any favorite healthy Christmas treats? Share your recipes with us in our comments! There’s no doubt we’ll all indulge a little bit, but more nutritious, balanced choices are a great way to start your New Year off right.