How to have a diet-friendly Christmas dinner – 10 festive food swaps without missing out

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Christmas dinner is one meal many people look forward to throughout the year, but if you’re looking to take a more health-conscious approach to the day, some food items may seem like they are off-limits. However, according to Karl Kristian, founder of Scandinavian health brand New Nordic, there are some healthy “swaps” you can make to cut calories while still enjoying your dinner.

10 “healthier” Christmas dinner food swaps

For those looking to reduce their calorie intake, whether that is to benefit health or simply to make room for more snacks later, Mr Kristian shared insight into some simple changes that can go a long way.


Mr Kristian explained that removing the skin of your Turkey before you eat it can save 50 calories.

Pigs in blankets

Mr Kristian said: “Swap for turkey sausages wrapped in turkey bacon which is approximately 122 per serving.”

Roast Potatoes

Roast potatoes are often cooked using high-fat oils or goose fat.

However, switching them for boiled new potatoes in garlic butter will amount to 234 calories per serving.

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Glass of Prosecco

The sparkling wine is a festive favourite, but by filling up your glass with ice you could slash calories.

Mr Kristian said: “Fill your glass with ice before pouring the fizz to save 80 calories or swap for a spirit and low-calorie mixer with is roughly 56 calories per serving.”


You don’t have to avoid stuffing altogether to save on calories, according to Mr Kristian.

He said: “Swap for a gluten-free stuffing alternative which is around 82 calories per serving.”

Brussel sprouts

The good news is, as long as you aren’t cooking your sprouts in fat, there’s no need to swap.

Brussel sprouts when steamed are just 43 calories per serving.

Honey roast parsnips

Though honey roast parsnips are a festive favourite, swapping them for alternative vegetables can be beneficial for your diet.

Mr Kristian said: “Swap for boiled seasonal veg, such as swede and carrots for just 40 calories per serving.”

Christmas pudding

You don’t need to skip dessert in order to have a healthier Christmas Day, according to Mr Kristian.

Instead, switch up your usual Christmas pudding and opt for a pavlova instead, coming in at around 189 calories per serving.

Brandy Butter

Though dessert is usually incomplete without lashings of brandy butter, Mr Kristian recommends trying “Greek yoghurt with a dash of brandy.”

This equated to around 150 calories per serving.

Mince pie

The mince pie is perhaps one of the most festive food items of the season.

Though they can be high in calories, Mr Kristian has a simple hack.

He said: “Simply remove the top of your mince pie for just 120 calories per serving.”

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