Tip for Stressfree Holiday Meals!

By Alexandria Hadley, MS, RD, LD |
family holiday meal

Food and holiday celebrations go together. Enjoying a meal is still one of the best parts of the holidays, even with smaller festivities this year. But, preparing a delicious holiday meal doesn’t have to be stressful. Whether you’re concerned about healthy eating or have limited time, holiday food doesn’t have to be complicated.

Here are a few simple tips for stress-free holiday eating, so you’ll be free to enjoy the season!Keep It Simple

The key is to keep it simple!  Some of the most delicious dishes have only a few ingredients and are easy to prepare. Don’t feel guilty if you can’t replicate Grandma’s homemade bread or her gingerbread house. There are many cookie and cake mixes that you can adapt to recreate family favorites. Adding pureed fruit, nuts, or raisins can add extra nutrients and flavor. Don’t be afraid to try different flavored extracts.

Start A New Tradition

If you’re tired of making the same meal year after year, this is the perfect time to start a new tradition!

Try something new and be adventurous. Grilled pork chops with a fresh cranberry and orange relish are just as acceptable as a roast turkey filled with stuffing, and a spinach salad with walnuts, dried cranberries, and feta cheese is quite festive too. Who says you can’t enjoy tacos or a BBQ during the holidays?  Make meals that you and your loved ones will enjoy. I am sure you will have no complaints!

Don’t Strive For Perfection

Don’t feel you need to aspire to create a Food Channel meal presentation! We may want our meals to look like celebrity Instagram photos, but that’s not realistic. It’s OK if things aren’t perfect, and sometimes our mistakes are the things that make the best memories — and often laughter!

The important thing about food is that it’s enjoyable. If you’re stressing whether every item is perfect, you’re missing out on the fun. So relax. Unless you’re a 5-star chef, no one is judging you.

Mindfully Enjoy Your Meal

The most important thing you can do to take the stress out of holiday food is to be mindful. Plan meals ahead of time, and keep them simple.

Allow yourself to enjoy a special meal.  If you deny yourself a favorite treat, you are more likely to feel deprived. Rather than telling yourself, “I can’t eat that because it’s not healthy,” go ahead and indulge. Take everything in moderation, eat everything slowly, and savor every single bite.  You will find that you will enjoy the season more and stress less if you cook and eat mindfully.

You may be missing family and friends that you usually see during the holidays. It’s a challenging time for many.  But, virtual celebrations can help to make the best of this year.  Practicing gratitude will lead to a more joyful time.

GA Foods, a leading provider of nutritious, home-delivered meals, wishes you a happy and healthy holiday season!