How to Eat More Vegetables and Fruit During the Holidays

Dec 3, 2017Health & Nutrition

 

​We tend to eat a lot of rich foods over the holidays. Those decadent dishes of stuffing, mashed potatoes, turkey and gingerbread are special during this time of year – but eating all of that at the many dinner parties can really be too much of a good thing.

Lighter recipes that you can make when you host or bring to a party, which includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, some of that being local produce too.

ICYMI, I was on CHCH Morning Live discussing healthier holiday dishes – check out my tips below:

Trick: Make things visually appealing, fun, creative to make your guests want to eat it. There is also something for everyone!

Dish #1: For the Ambitious Party Planner – Christmas Wreath Veggie Tray

Not your average veggie dip tray, this one is a wreath!

How to Make It:

  1. Using broccoli florets, arrange around a large dinner plate.
  2. Use cucumber slices, colourful peppers and olives as ornaments.
  3. Create a bow using kitchen scissors and a red bell pepper, and you have a Christmas-y veggie dish!

For the Dip:

Make one with Greek yogurt – lower in fat than most ready-to-eat veggie dips and high in protein. You will need:
1 and ½ cups plain Greek Yogurt (I like one with 2% fat)
½ teaspoon dried chives
¾ teaspoon parsley
¼ teaspoon each onion and garlic powder
Salt and Pepper to taste.

​Mix everything together, with exception of the salt and pepper. Add salt and pepper at the end to taste.

Dish #2:  Lazy / Last Minute Party Planner – Easy Holiday Trees & Edible Decorations

​New greenhouse farming technology has made it more convenient (and attractive) to eat vegetables, which is very exciting for me as a dietitian!

 

Greenhouse Grown Living Lettuce (shown above) – has lettuce with the roots still on to maximize freshness and make it shelf stable in a bit of water. The leaves will keep growing at room temperature – on your shelf. Looks very nice, and the leaves will continue to grow when you add water. You can also eat the leaves straight off the plant!Here are also Cherto – Cherry Tomatoes On-the-Vine (shown above). Because they’re kept on-the-vine, it keeps the freshness, flavour and shelf life.

They come like this in the package in produce aisle, and already look very festive and Christmas-y – so there’s not much to do here!

Plate and serve, or you can pluck them off and use them as ornaments on the living lettuce!

These are products grown here in Ontario in December with the power of Grow Light Technology. What that does is simulate sunlight to compensate for the lack of it. This is how we can grow local Canadian produce in the winter, instead of having it imported. Both products are greenhouse grown from Mucci Farms.

Dish #3:  For the Mom with Kids – Strawberry Grinches

Sing it with me: You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch!

How the Grinch Stole Christmas was one of my favourite cartoons as a kid. Now you can make your own little Grinches – with your kids. In my case, with my little cousins!

What You Need:

Strawberries
Green grapes
Sliced bananas
Mini-marshmallows
A toothpick to hold it all together

How to Make It:

  1. Slice off the base of the strawberry.
  2. Put it on the toothpick, followed by the slice banana and green grape.
  3. Top it off with the mini marshmellow.

These strawberries are the Smuccies Strawberries, who supply  greenhouse strawberries for President’s Choice. Using these, we are also going to make these super-cute Strawberry Santas!

Dish #4:  For the Mom with Kids (Part 2) – Strawberry Santas

How to Make it:The Santa Body

  1. Cut the bottom of the strawberry.
  2. Then I add a sliced banana and top it off with the hat. It should look like a cone!

Decorate

  1. Using black gel icing, make 2 dots for the eyes.
  2. Use white icing to draw on the beard.

I have the full recipe here.’

Strawberries are Beautiful, Healthy and Tasty

 I love using strawberries for “food art” because can be made into so many beautiful dishes, especially with their shape and Christmas colours.

In the greenhouse, strawberries are more flavourful berries because we can control the nutrients so the plants get exactly what they needed to maximize flavour.

In addition to helping to increase your fruit intake of the day, strawberries are high in the antioxidant vitamin C, which is great to eat more of during the cold and flu season – because vitamin C helps to fight off viruses!

All of these recipes are great ways to get you and your guests to eat more servings of vegetables and fruit. Most Canadians do not get enough in a day (especially during this indulgent time of year), so you are helping out yourself and your guests out with healthier eating over the holidays!

The guideline is 7-10 servings of vegetables and fruit. With creative, visually appealing and fun dishes like these – your guests and the kids are more likely to reach for more vegetables and fruit!

Watch the FULL Interview Below!

Would you serve any of these dishes at your next holiday gathering? Comment below and let me know! ​Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Mucci Farms. Sponsored posts helps NutritionArtist give you relevant, interesting and creative content.  All opinions are my own and are genuine.

Meet Michelle

Welcome, I'm Michelle! I'm a TV and digital media registered dietitian and Asian cuisine content creator based out of Hamilton, ON Canada!

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