The holidays don’t look the same this year. There are so many new rules about how to safely enjoy the holiday season together. In fact just getting your family back to the dinner table can be a challenge. And with all of these changes, it can be harder to find peace in the midst of the season. In fact, the stress can quickly steal the joy from the season, so here are a few holiday foods that help you stress less!
Holiday Foods That Help You Stress Less
Low Prep Options are Amazing!
When you are planning out holiday meals it can be tempting to try to make elaborate items. While these may be popular, they can also be stressful. Sometimes the best way to reduce stress is to simplify. Some of the more elaborate foods might work for a traditional family holiday but they might not work in the long run. Here are a few tips for low prep food options.
Tips for Low Prep Food Options
- Try Slow Cooker Meals - Using a slow cooker is a fantastic way to save stress when prepping holiday meals. Items like turkey, casseroles, breakfasts, and some of your favorite sides can be made in the slow cooker. Even better, you can put many foods into a slow cooker with quality seasonings and enjoy them without having to fuss over them much throughout the day. Here’s a delicious recipe for Slow Cooker Hawaiian Meatballs, perfect for an appetizer or snack.
- Meal Plan - Another way to save some stress is to meal plan your meals. This will help you to have less stress when it is time to prepare meals. When meal planning try to have a flexible meal plan that allows you to cook food based on the mood of the day.
- Use quality premade ingredients - Items like Whole30 salad dressing, paleo buffalo sauce, or Whole30 BBQ Sauce can be purchased premade. While you may be able to make a sauce you could enjoy, it can be less stressful to buy options that are already prepared to save yourself some stress.
- Keep healthy snacks on hand - During the holidays it can help to have healthy snacks on hand. Keeping items such as grass-fed beef sticks or sugar-free jerky on hand can make life easier. Snacks that are good for you can be the perfect thing to reach for on a stressful day.
Make Allowances for Comfort Food
During the holiday season, it can be tempting to go on a diet or limit certain comfort foods. While that can be wise for some, it can definitely add to the stress of the season. You may not want to call off your diet completely for the holiday season. That said, you may want to make some allowances for comfort foods that help to relieve some of the stress. These comfort foods can be a good break from the stress of the season.
5 Ways to Include Comfort Foods in Your Holiday Season
- Make Smaller Portions - If you are trying to enjoy comfort foods without diet issues it can help to make smaller portions of comfort foods. This will let you enjoy some of your favorite foods without it working against any health goals for the season.
- Find a Go-To Replacement - If you are craving something sugary, a handful of almonds can satisfy you. You can also discover some new comfort foods like Buffalo Deviled Eggs that will satisfy but not wreck your diet.
- Share with Friends or Family - When making comfort foods it can help to give some away to friends or family members. This will let you enjoy a favorite food while also taking an opportunity to make someone else smile.
- Set Boundaries for Comfort Food - If you want to enjoy some of your favorite comfort foods during the holidays but you are also working on a diet, it can help to set boundaries. This might mean only preparing that item once in a season or agreeing to only eat a certain portion of that item. Setting boundaries can help you to enjoy your favorite foods while keeping to your diet.
- Substitute Ingredients - One way to enjoy comfort food while changing eating habits is to substitute out ingredients that would not work with a new eating plan. Using items such as Coconut Aminos, Whole30 ketchup, or using sugar-free sauces can let you enjoy comfort food without stressing about less healthy components.
Find Ways to Create Memories
Making memories during the holidays will feel different this year. A lot of the family gatherings you might be used to have been canceled or changed. Events such as parades, photos with Santa, and other traditions have been either canceled or changed considerably. There are still ways to make memories this holiday season. Here are a few ways to make holiday memories with food during the holidays.
Ways to Make Memories with Food During the Holidays
- Bake Together - One way to make memories with the family is to take some time to bake together. This could mean making cookies, a favorite pie, or bread recipes together. The best part of baking together is that you can customize your ingredients and modify baking jobs to the age of the child who is helping in the kitchen.
- Pass Down Family Favorite Recipes - The holidays can be a fabulous time to get in the kitchen with family members in your home and share a family favorite recipe. Take some time to get into the kitchen together and help everyone to learn to make their favorite family recipe. The slower pace of life during these times can allow for more moments to make these kinds of memories.
- Donate Food to Local Charities - Taking time to give back as a family can be a great way to remove some of the stress you have. By taking some time to pick up items such as canned goods, food rescue missions need, or fresh produce that homeless rescues can use to donate, you will be able to see where you are blessed. There can be great joy found in serving others.
- Have a Family Favorites Meal - One way to take out some of the stress and make memories is to have a family favorites meal. For each member of the family, there are certain foods that remind them of the holiday season. Take some time to find out what each of these items is for your family and enjoy a family favorites meal together.