10 healthy festive recipes and tips for stress-free entertaining

Trying to be healthy during the festive season can be tough. We’ve got 10 delicious summer recipes and tips to help you feel your best this silly season.

Written by Editor Medibank

The festive season pretty much revolves around overindulgence. Whether you’ve been on the champagne train or filling your boots at yet another lunch, it’s easy to end your summer break feeling bloated, tired and struggling to do up your jeans.

If you’re looking for a way to eat, drink and be merry without feeling rubbish at the end of it, read on for delicious, healthy recipes and our top entertaining tips to keep you feeling great this silly season.

Scrumptious starters

Party food isn’t renowned for being healthy, but swapping in some lighter alternatives will leave you and your guests feeling better at the end of the night.

Zesty lemon grilled calamari with garlic recipe

Deliciously fresh and light, perfect for summer feasts.

Pico de gallo and avocado tacos recipe

Make tacos at home the authentic Mexican way with this deliciously fresh vegetarian recipe.

Asparagus, leek and pea tart recipe

Asparagus, leek and pea tart is a delicious and easy dish for festive lunches and dinners.

Add some colour to your festive menu

Salad can be so much more than leaves upon leaves. Get creative in the kitchen with these nourishing, colourful sides.

Thai noodle salad with marinated tofu recipe

A rainbow-bright Asian noodle dish, packed with flavour and a healthy mix of vegetables.

Rainbow salad recipe

Brighten your celebration with this fresh and colourful salad, sweet with the goodness of persimmons.

Light and bright mains

Being healthy over the festive season doesn’t mean compromising on taste. These delightful summer dishes are packed full of flavour and texture:

Satay salmon with crunchy cucumber and herb salad recipe

The perfect blend of fresh, juicy and creamy flavours, with a little kick of spice.

Cherry quinoa salad with lamb recipe

Cherries are one seasonal superfruit you don't want to miss out on. Here's a delicious take on a lamb salad.

Antipasto barbecue chicken recipe

A deliciously easy mix, with juicy veggies, olives and feta.

For the sweet tooth

No festive meal would be complete without a delicious dessert and these lower sugar alternatives mean you really can have your cake and eat it too.

10 delicious, low-sugar desserts

Desserts so delicious and fresh, you won't even notice they are low-sugar.

Refreshing mocktail sips

Sometimes it can feel like times of celebration and alcohol go hand in hand. But our favourite tipples often come at a price: from hidden calories to the wide ranging effects of the dreaded hangover. So why not switch some of your cocktails for these healthier mocktails. You’ll thank us for it in the morning!

Mocktail recipes: Five of the best

Looking to cut back? Here are our five favourite mocktail recipes.

Tips for stress-free entertaining this festive season

  • When it comes to family, share the love and focus on the positives. Halve the load by sharing tasks or limiting the length of the gathering. Structure time together with pleasant activities such as an after-lunch stroll or game of cricket. Indulge in moderation. And, manage your own expectations. Christmas is rarely the “perfect” family get-together we see in ads and magazines, but it can still be enjoyable.
  • Work out your priorities and keep a list. Prioritise tasks and tick them off when they’re done. Make the tasks possible; don’t place unrealistic expectations on yourself. The festive season is a good time to include the important people in your life as priorities and focus on these relationships, rather than everything having to go off without a hitch on the day.
  • Reduce your financial burden. Focus on sharing the love rather than material goods. Make a budget and stick to it. Find creative ways to lower costs – you could send e-cards, trial Secret Santa for gift-giving, or ask others to bring a plate to a more casual meal.
  • Try to observe moderation. If you tend to overindulge, accept half a glass or only fill half of your plate. Maintain balance in other areas of your life by getting enough sleep, keeping up with exercise and maintaining a bit of down-time for rest, reflection and relaxation.
  • If you are feeling lonely or isolated – plan something you’ll enjoy. Go to the movies, or out for a walk. Explore options for sharing with others such as community carols or a charity lunch. Consider volunteering to give your time and skills to help others. Look into organising your own “orphans” gathering in person or online, or take part in an online forum. Plan activities for the days after Christmas so you have something to look forward to.
  • Have fun! It’s important to not get caught up in all the festive planning and then miss all of the fun stuff. Give yourself permission to enjoy the day. Join in the festivities, be a bit silly and have a laugh. ‘Tis the season after all!

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Written by Editor Medibank

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