Healthy Holiday Foods

Holiday foods that offer a boost to your health. Healthy appetizers, plus reasons to eat nuts, oranges, cinnamon and even to tipple champagne!

Related To:


Between all the cookies and cocktails, it can seem like holiday food is out to get you (or at least your waistline). But let's take a moment to celebrate all of the festive ingredients and dishes that are actually good for you.


Break out the nutcracker and get cracking on some fresh, whole almonds, walnuts, filberts and other nuts. They're a great source of protein, healthy fats, fiber and some vitamins and minerals. Plus, if you take time to shell them you'll be less likely to overdo it on these calorie-rich snacks.


As we mentioned last week, pomegranates are one of the healthiest festive foods around. These garnet jewels are filled with heart-healthy compounds, including fiber and flavanols.


Whether or not you eat other nuts year round, chestnuts are a true holiday specialty. They also have a wildly different nutrition profile from most other nuts. Ounce for ounce, they're much lower in calories (a single ounce or 3 kernels have 70 calories), and also are a good source of vitamin C. You can go the classic route and roast them over an open fire, but you can also use pre-cooked chestnuts in soups, like this Zuppa Di Castagne.


Oranges shine a ray of sunshine in the darkest winter days. A single orange gives you a day's worth of vitamin C and gives you a good amount of folate and fiber. Try thinly slicing oranges and fennel and drizzling with olive oil and salt for a healthy, brightly flavored appetizer.


Cinnamon, spice and everything nice. Spices offer antioxidants and other phytochemicals that may offer some protection against chronic diseases. Plus, they help you flavor dishes without fat, sugar and salt.


Stuffed mushrooms can be a healthy holiday appetizer. Mushrooms offer a meaty texture and flavor for virtually no calories. Add olive oil, fresh herbs, a sharp cheese and some breadcrumbs and you have a festive app that's pretty healthy.

Roasted Vegetables

While you have the oven cranked high for slow-roasting meat, roast vegetables—the high heat tempers the natural bitterness of Brussels sprouts and enhances the sweetness of sweet potatoes, celeriac and potatoes. Try Ellie Krieger's recipe for Jewel Roasted Vegetables.


While overdoing it on any kind of alcohol isn't good for your health, researchers in the UK suggest that two to three glasses of bubbly per week may actually enhance your memory. They attribute the benefits to phenolic acid, a compound found in the grapes used to make champagne. Cheers to that!

Next Up

Healthy, Satisfying Snacks to Pack

Fight off midday hunger with these healthy snack ideas all clocking in near 100 calories.

Healthy Eats at Luxury Hotels

Get six picks for hotels offering separate menus for vegetarian and vegan diners, and shifting their focus from heavy, lavish fare to sustainable, organic and local ingredients.

A Festive, Healthy Holiday Party

Try these lighter holiday party appetizers for bites that will fill guests up without weighing them down.

6 Foods That Are Surprisingly Healthy

Are there healthy foods you’re avoiding because you think they’re bad for you? Check this list to find out.

100+ Healthy Recipes to Mix and Match

Browse our top healthy recipes from Cooking Channel chefs, from lightened-up comfort foods to full-flavor Asian favorites.

Healthy Snacks to Keep at the Office

Here are 13 ideas for office-friendly snacks, plus some “best practices” for snacking at the office.

A Healthy and Delicious Mother’s Day Brunch

Assemble your own healthy brunch menu for Mother's Day by choosing one dish from each of these categories.


Good Eats

7am | 6c

Good Eats

7:30am | 6:30c

Good Eats

8am | 7c

Good Eats

8:30am | 7:30c

Man Fire Food

12pm | 11c

Man Fire Food

12:30pm | 11:30c

Man Fire Food

1pm | 12c

Man Fire Food

1:30pm | 12:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Iron Chef America

8pm | 7c
9pm | 8c
1am | 12c
What's Hot

The Best Thing I Ever Ate

Sundays 10|9c

So Much Pretty Food Here