These 17 Holiday Treats Are Healthier Than You Might Think
Candy canes, gingerbread, cookies of all shapes and sizes, marshmallows floating in mugs of hot cocoa…sugary treats abound this time of year.
A little bit of indulgence is OK, but between the holiday parties and the team lunches and the family dinners, it’s easy to feel like the entire month of December is a junk-food obstacle course.
If you need a break from the sugar rush, here are some holiday treats that are festive and fun to make, while still sneaking in some quality foods like strawberries, bananas and, yes, even broccoli.
1. Fruity Candy Cane
Delight your kids with this candy cane from Rabbit Food for My Bunny Teeth. All you need are strawberries, a banana, and a knife.
2. Christmas Tree Pizza
Lunchtime looks delicious with this fun Christmas tree pizza idea shared by Caro & Co. Make a healthy whole wheat pizza crust and cut out tree shapes before baking.
Decorate with your favorite holiday-inspired toppings. Here, sliced olives form garlands. How about topping the pizza in leaves of spinach and decorating with “ornaments” made from red and yellow bell peppers?
3. Snowman Hard-Boiled Eggs
Why did the snowman take a dip in boiling water? Because he was made from hard-boiled eggs.
These adorable snacks from Roxy’s Kitchen are cleverly held together with a stick of dry spaghetti. Carrot slices form hats, sprigs of parsley shape the arms, and buttons and eyes are affixed with black peppercorns (you could also use black sesame seeds).
Take it a step further and use a vegetable peeler to make ribbons of zucchini for scarves.
4. Santa’s Belly Cheese Snacks
Ho ho ho, Santa’s belly is coming to town. Cute Food for Kids wrapped some holiday cheer around Babybel individual cheese snacks by using construction paper to craft belts and buckles.
5. Chocolate Peppermint Truffles
With real ingredients like dates and cashews, these easy chocolate peppermint truffles are probably a healthier option than the classic chocolate truffles you’ll find in aisle seven, and the addition of peppermint makes them perfect for the season.
6. Snowman Snack Platter
We love this fun, open-faced sandwich idea from Creative Food. Use a cookie cutter to cut out circles of bread and cheese.
Add a hat and scarf made from bell peppers, and a sliver of carrot for the nose. This snowman has eyes, a mouth, and buttons made from plum, but you could also use black sesame seeds. A few kernels of popcorn snow is the finishing touch.
7. Reindeer Pancakes
Add extra holiday cheer to your morning with these Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer pancakes from Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons.
For a healthier version, use Greek yogurt instead of whipped cream, and go for turkey bacon instead of pork.
8. String Cheese Snowmen
When it’s too cold outside to build snowmen, let the kids build them inside.
To make these cute snacks for her son’s preschool class, DigiCrumbs used black card stock for hats, blue ribbon for scarves, and black and orange markers to draw faces. (We recommend food safe markers.)
9. Kiwi Raspberry Christmas Tree
We created an all-fruit version of the Christmas Tree Crudité plate using sliced kiwi fruits to form the tree, with bright red raspberries as ornaments.
You could add a slice of star fruit, or any fruit cut into the shape of a star, to create your tree topper (we used banana).
10. Tortilla Snowflakes
These pretty snowflake-shaped tortillas are dusted with a light sprinkling of Parmesan. They’re simple, savory, and kids of all ages will have fun cutting out snowflake shapes. Get the how-to from Carpé Season.
Make a sweeter version by substituting cheese with shredded unsweetened coconut, or just save some calories by adding a sprinkling of cinnamon.
11. Fruity Christmas Tree
This decorative tree takes a little more effort than the other snacks in this list, but it will make kids (and grownups) ooh and ah, and you’ll have a healthy, edible centerpiece for your table. We followed the detailed example by Iowa Girl Eats to assemble ours.
12. No-Bake Granola Bars
Make your own granola bars like these from Life Made Sweeter. Kids will enjoy mixing the ingredients and pressing them into the pan.
13. Christmas Tree Crudité
Make a raw vegetable crudité platter more festive by arranging your broccoli into the shape of a tree, and then start decorating. Here’s one option from The Spruce.
14. Dark Chocolate Superfood Bites
A show-stopping holiday treat: These chocolate superfood bites decorated with colorful dried fruits and nuts. They’re devilishly simple to make, and they look darn impressive.