Staying Healthy This Holiday Season

It seems we get to this time of the year every year and we wonder where the year went. We have commitments all throughout the month and time flies by. Yes, it can be a lot of fun, but not being home, eating away from home and just being time-poor can cause us to fall back into old habits quite easily and make some poor food choices. Sometimes the easy option isn’t necessarily the healthiest option. Right?

If there is any year when all the rules we have go out the window, I’m guessing this year is the year. Who would have thought we’d still be homeschooling, working from home, all the gyms and sporting venues closing down and so much more.

Here are 10 of our top tips to keep you on track this holiday season:

  1. Consider if you really need the additional bowls of chips, lollies, dips and biscuits on top of the large lunch you are about to serve. If you insist on serving finger food, consider swapping to mixed nuts and seed, dips with veggie sticks, or dried fruits such as goji berries, pears and apricots.
  2. Fill your plate with lean meats – avoid battered, crumbed or fried foods. Swap these to grilled and plain meats. Ensure your plate consists of 50% protein followed by 50% salads/vegetables.
  3. Create a plate for yourself rather than picking and snacking on finger foods.
  4. Ask for sauces/dips/spreads on the side of your plate rather than covering your meal.
  5. Avoid carbonated beverages, make homemade ice teas with fruit, diluted juices to create some flavour with your drinks.
  6. Pre-plan your day ahead.  Include your normal snacks in your day leading up to your event, to minimise overeating when faced with unhealthy foods. 
  7. Remember to eat mindfully. Tune into your hunger. Ensure you are enjoying what you are eating, focus on separating food and fluids. Focus on the taste, texture and smell of your meals, avoid picking and grazing leading up to your meal and after your meal.
  8. Dehydration can also be mistaken for hunger and may cause you to overeat, ensure you are still aiming for 1.5-2L water per day.
  9. If drinking alcohol, ensure you have 1 glass of water to every glass of alcohol. When avoiding alcohol all together, add some fruit or mint to your water and put it in a wine or champagne glass.
  10. Move your body!

Below are some Christmas inspired bariatric friendly recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner:


Gingerbread Chia Pudding (serves 6)


  • 2 cups plant based milk (almond, oat or soy)
  • ½ cup chia seeds
  • 1 tsp molasses
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Chopped banana and pecans to top


  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well
  2. Place in a fridge and leave overnight (or for at least 4 hours)
  3. Serve cold and top with chopped banana and pecans


Turkey and Mango Salad (serves 6)


  • 500g turkey meat, shredded
  • 1 large, ripe mango, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 200g baby spinach and rocket mix
  • 1 cup mixed herbs (coriander, mint and basil)
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 medium avocado, diced
  • 1 red chilli, seeded and sliced thinly
  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds

For the Lime Vinaigrette Dressing:

  • 100ml peanut oil
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • ¼ tsp grated lime peel
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • Lime wedges to serve


  1. In a bowl add all ingredients into a bowl and toss
  2. For the lime vinaigrette, add all ingredients into a blender and blend until well combined
  3. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and serve 


Leftover Lamb Curry (serves 8)


  • 500-700g leftover roast lamb, chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 300-350g pumpkin, peeled and diced
  • 200g any leftover vegetables (such as green beans, carrots or capsicum) 
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 200ml lamb stock
  • 4 tbsp curry paste
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and roughly grated
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 red chili
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 small bunch coriander, roughly chopped
  • Cooked cauliflower rice and Greek natural yoghurt to serve


  1. Heat oil in a fry pan and add the onion until translucent
  2. Add curry paste, ginger, chili and cinnamon stick and stir until fragrant
  3. Add pumpkin, additional veggies and canned tomato, stir for 1 minute
  4. Add stock and bring to a simmer
  5. Add the lamb and cook, covered for 30 minutes
  6. Remove lid, add chopped coriander and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes
  7. Serve with cauliflower rice and natural Greek yoghurt

WLSA Dietitians