Do you have a healthy eating strategy for big holiday parties?
I have a specific game plan that targets the most volatile UNhealthy areas, roots them out, and front loads with the good stuff so there’s less room for the bad.
I call it the “I’ll bring a few appetizers and a dessert” game plan.
The tactics are so subvert, my opponents don’t even know they’re in a battle, and no one feels badly when I win. Which is good, because they’re family and I love them.
You see, most of the time there are real food options for the main course, especially at a Thanksgiving dinner. A turkey, even if CAFO-raised, is at least meat, not some unknown substance my body doesn’t recognize but I have to eat anyway. Mashed potatoes have a chance at being additive-free. And there are always some genuine vegetables floating around.
The dessert table is always a mess of white flour, white sugar, and trans fat, so for Thanksgiving, I bring a few healthy pumpkin pies. I can ensure healthy fats in the crust plus vegetables, pastured organic eggs, and a small amount of unrefined sweetener in the filling. It’s a great way to redeem dessert.
My Secret Strategy.
But my key positioning is in frontloading the meal. I bring at least two appetizers that I know my kids like and coincidentally forget to tell them to “save room for dinner.” I might even subversively encourage them to pig out on what I brought by quietly serving rather large portions.
It’s like the optimist’s glass half full: if my kids are half full of nourishing foods, I don’t have to worry so much about telling them not to eat the junk.
Over the years I’ve also established a few specialties that are so good, family members request that I bring them again and again. [insert maniacal mastermind laugh here] They’re playing right into my hands! Everyone wins.
Tired of Unhealthy Choices at Every Social Gathering…
…and tired of watching your kids eat junk?
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Other recipes rotate in and out over the years, including homemade potato salad, fresh fruit, and deviled eggs. Lately though I’ve been bringing a little probiotic twist on an avocado dip that looks enough like guacamole to be yummy by association (and then holds its own on pure taste, too!).Print
- 1 avocado
- 1/2 c. yogurt cheese (or 4 oz. goat cheese)
- 2–3 Tbs. lemon juice
- (optional) 1/4 tsp. lemon zest
- 1–3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 tsp.
- 1/4 c. fresh parsley or cilantro (or about 1 Tbs. dried)
- Whiz the garlic in a food processor first, then add the avocado, yogurt cheese, lemon juice and salt. Process everything until smooth.
- Stir in herbs.
- Serve with carrot sticks, sliced bell peppers and other vegetables for dipping.
*For children, yogurt cheese is a friendlier option than goat cheese (and has the probiotics). Shoot low on the garlic for kids too.
*If you don’t have a food processor, crush the garlic separately and try an immersion blender (found on Amazon) or just mash well with a fork.
*If not serving right away, leave the avocado pit in the dip and try to use a cover that touches the dip to prevent oxidation (browning).
*Adapted from Food with Kid Appeal.
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Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post to Amazon from which I will earn some commission if you make a purchase.