Between holiday parties and family get-togethers, it can sometimes be hard to keep things healthy. After all, the holidays are known for rich dishes and decadent desserts.

While we certainly don’t want to take away from classic dishes or family recipes, there are simple ways to lighten up those dishes by swapping an ingredient or adding a veggie!

Here are our favorite tips to lighten up holiday meals (which also work for any meal throughout the year!)

Ditch Sour Cream

  • When making casseroles, sauces, dips and more, swap out equal amounts sour cream for plain Greek yogurt for fewer calories and fat. Or go half-and-half if you’re not ready to make the full leap.
  • Serve veggies with this homemade Tzatziki dip for snacking.

Skip Condensed Soup

  • Canned condensed soup can be packed with sodium. Cut down on the amount of sodium in your holiday dishes with an easy homemade version.
  • It only takes a few ingredients that you probably already have on hand like butter, flour, milk and stock, to make.
  • Use in casseroles, like this Green Bean Casserole.

Go Whole Grain

  • Whole wheat and whole grain breads and pastas are higher in fiber and other important nutrients.
  • Try mixing in other whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and bulgar wheat to your dishes.
  • Don’t forget to use whole wheat bread for your stuffing!

Use Herbs & Spices

  • Add fresh garlic or thyme to your mashed potatoes to add flavor without a lot of salt or butter.
  • Season veggies with fresh lemon juice over butter.

Snack Smarter

Add Veggies

  • Pureed cauliflower is a great addition to mashed potatoes, casseroles, macaroni and cheese, and more.
  • Add chopped veggies or greens to stuffing instead of meat.

Healthy Baking Substitutions

  • Used mashed avocado, ripe bananas or applesauce instead of butter, oil or sugar in baked goods.
  • Black beans are a great swap for flour to make recipes gluten-free.

Festive Flavors e-cookbook

Lucky for you, we’ve made over your favorite holiday recipes in the Festive Flavors: 12 Fresh Takes on Holiday Favorites cookbook.

Download your free copy below for healthier holiday classics like Sweet Potato Casserole and Cranberry Apple Crisp, plus some new favorites like Apple Pumpkin French Toast Muffins.

Healthier doesn’t mean you have to overhaul your entire meal. Just a few small swaps can make a big difference!

Also in the cookbook are a few fun holiday-themed snacks along with tips for creating a healthy holiday meal plan and using up all those leftover in new and creative ways.