Let’s face it. The holidays are all about enjoying some of our favorite foods.  We are looking forward to digging into a favourite pie or dessert and indulging in some Egg Nog or other holiday cocktails.

Healthy Christmas dinner ideas

If we are still trying to watch our waistline, even if we are not exactly ‘dieting’ over Christmas, let’s take a look at some healthy Christmas dinner recipes from around the world – from the healthiest to some of the more decadent meals: RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU 1.  Australia – comes in at No.1. Roasted vegetables, grilled shrimp and ham are a popular meal for Christmas dinner.  It is filling, healthy, full of protein and when vegetables are roasted, they offer a rich, robust flavour. December is one of the hottest times of the year, so barbecues at Christmas are quite popular. As one of the healthiest Christmas desserts, meringue, fresh fruit and some whipped cream can still keep the fat and calorie content low.

meal with shrips and vegetables - healthy christmas dinner idea from australia 2. Italy – fish on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day puts Italy second as the place to go for the healthiest Christmas dinner ideas. The Feast Of Seven Fishes is a custom native to Italy, and it is gaining popularity in the U.S.  Other healthy dishes served include roasted meats, pasta, antipasti. These are all topped off with some sparkling wine. Dessert usually consists of sweet bread flavored with orange and lemon zest and filled with raisins and other dried fruits.

delicious pasta christmas meal from italy 3. France – what is not to love about French food?  The gastronomic capital takes third place in our list of healthful Christmas dinner ideas. A Christmas meal in France is always served with champagne and consists of Foie gras (duck or goose liver), smoked salmon, oysters, roasted turkey or goose with chestnuts. Buche de Noel, or Yule log, consists of a sponge cake filled with buttercream and decorated like a log that has fallen in the forest.  Meringue mushrooms made with egg whites and sugar add a realistic look for a magical finish, complete with powdered sugar for that snow effect.

glass of champagne and a dish with apperisers 4.  The United States and England – are tied for fourth place when it comes to healthy food planning over the holidays. Roast turkey is quite popular in both countries. The differences occur in the variety of side dishes. Yorkshire pudding is a favourite in England, while mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy and vegetables are traditional in the U.S. Rich desserts are always served, whether it is a traditional Christmas pudding in England – made with nuts and dried fruit and often flambéed with brandy – or pumpkin pie with whipped cream in the U.S.

roasted turkey traditional christmas meal from the US and UK 5. Romania – comes in fifth place as Christmas dinner centers around pork. Different types of sausages are prepared with a variety of pickled cabbage and homemade pickles that can be high in sodium. A traditional dessert is cozonaci, a raisin and nut-filled cake that is often shared with neighbours, family and friends to symbolize the spirit of giving. Sarmale Cabbage Rolls with Meat step by step

A few other Christmas diet tips – how to stay healthy over the holidays

Regardless of where you are in the world this Christmas, it is all about sharing food and being with family and friends. Here are some tips for staying healthy throughout the holidays: – Avoid going all day without food prior to the big meal – that is a recipe for weight gain.
– Eat a mini-meal of protein and vegetables every three hours
– Think smaller portions, so you can taste or sample everything on the menu without feeling guilty
– Get off the couch and go for a walk, take the family ice skating or sledding for a healthy, active holiday tradition
– Take advantage of the Watch Fit Diet And Exercise Planner for calculating calories and fat grams of your favorite foods
– Make an exercise and diet plan for a healthy, happy New Year  
(image credit: 2championroofing, images.meredith, images.teamsugar, destrooper, i.telegraph, roamalicious)

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