Best Holiday Foods for You and Baby
These yummy recipes will make meal prep a snap, so you can easily serve your guests and your kids (even Baby!) delicious dishes. Stay focused on nutrition and portion sizes for weight control. Read on for the benefits of holiday foods.
Baked or Roasted Turkey
Let’s talk about the bird. Rich in protein but low in saturated fat, it’s a smart choice for parents looking for the energy to keep up with their toddlers. (Plus, this baby-friendly option will have your little one gobbling up his Thanksgiving dinner—assuming he’s over 6 months old, of course.) Try Turkey and Perfect Gravy.
Baked or Roasted Ham and Pork Dishes
Not typically touted as healthy, pork is actually a major source of riboflavin, which is an important part of your—and Baby’s—diet. Riboflavin is vital to metabolic functioning and the proper break down of nutrients in the body. Try Pork Roast with Cider Cream Gravy.
Baby Bites: Cube well-cooked and thoroughly cooled ham, then offer it to your baby. (It should be soft enough to dissolve while being munched on.) Please note that the AMA warns against high nitrate levels in certain types of ham, which may be harmful to Baby.
Ham and Turkey Leftovers
The benefit of cooking a big bird or side of pork? An array of yummy leftover options! Adding leftover veggies to these recipes boosts their vitamin contentand empties your Tupperware-laden fridge. Try Easy Chicken Noodle Soup and simply use turkey instead of chicken. Yum!
Perfect for moms who are looking to shed that baby weight, cranberries are low in carbs and high in fiber and antioxidants. Add a little zip to your holiday drinks, salads, or sides with these tart berries. Try our recipe for homemade cranberry sauce.
Baby Bites: (Please note: Due to acidity levels, it’s best not to offer cranberry foods to babies under 9 months old.)
To keep your family safe, the USDA recommends
cooking stuffing outside of the turkey. This keeps bacteria from leaking into the dish causing foodborne illness—and family dinner catastrophes. Try this delicious recipe for Sage and Sausage Stuffing.
Baby Bites:If your child is already eating solid foods, try offering him a wedge of the toasted, unseasoned bread or cornbread that will go in the stuffing.
We’ve all heard about the havoc potatoes can wreak on your diet (and your thighs), but despite their rap, these root vegetables aren’t all bad. (Plus, kids’ growing bodies need carbs.) Rich in potassium—important for lowering that holiday-stress-induced blood pressure—calcium, and iron, the nutritional benefits abound; when it comes to health, these are no small potatoes. Try these Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes.
Yams and Sweet Potatoes
Despite what supermarket signs may say, these two tubers aren’t the same. Even the Library of Congress confirms it: Though they’re both high in vitamins and fiber, unless you specifically search for yams—which are usually found in international markets—you’re probably eating sweet potatoes. (Yams are starchier and drier than their brightly colored doppelgangers.) Add some flair to your holiday table with our Sweet Potatoes in Orange Cups.
Ah, the rare holiday dish you don’t have to feel guilty about. Just because these are good for you that doesn’t meant they have to be tasteless. Our recipe for The World’s Best Salad will have your kids asking for seconds.
Even when cooked, seasoned, and smothered in cheese, vegetables still contain vitamins and minerals necessary to your family’s health. Our scrumptious side dish recipe for Lemony Green Beans will have everyone asking for seconds.
Good for more than just jack o’ lanterns, the vitamin A and beta carotene in this autumn and winter gourd will give your family’s
immune system a much-needed boost throughout the chilly months. (Canned pumpkin provides the same nutrients without the prep work, so don’t feel guilty turning to the pantry instead of the produce aisle.) Try out delicious pumpkin pie recipe!
Before you groan about holiday fruit baskets, know this: Long-touted for its vitamin C content, grapefruit is also said to help lower cholesterol levels. And citrus fruits in general contain antioxidants. So while serving trays of clementines won’t single-handedly fight your family’s colds this season, it can’t hurt to offer them alongside other holiday sweets.
Baby Bites: According to the American Medical Association, infants less than a year old should not consume citrus fruit, as it can lead to painful diaper rash. (Read about other food no-nos for Baby.)
Mashed up, it’s one of Baby’s first solid foods. But bananas are also a favorite African food, so banana recipes are popular during Kwanzaa, the winter holiday that commemorates traditional African harvest festivals. Try our delicious Banana Bread Bites.
Desserts: Cookies and Bars
Maybe not so nutritious, but definitely traditional: Cookies are vital to any succesful holiday party, and making them (especially for a cookie exchange or as gifts) can be almost as much fun as eating ‘em. Our Perfect Oatmeal Cookies and Chocolate Chip Cookies are sure to satisfy those sweet tooths.
These recipes are easy as … well, you know. And they’ll have your guests—and your kids—asking for more. Which are you going to try first, our Cranberry Velvet Pie, Sweet Potato Pie with Praline Sauce, Pecan Pies in Pumpkin Shells, or Farm Stand Apple Pie?
More Holiday Food Help
Looking for a new dish to add to your holiday table? Check these out!
- Sourdough Stuffing
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Sweet Potato Biscuits
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