10 Healthy Grab-and-Go Snacks for the Hectic Holiday Season

The hectic holiday season just got a whole lot healthier thanks to these 10 grab-and-go, nutrient-packed snacks. Our 10 good-for-your-family ideas feature our favorite new Chobani yogurt drink, lots of fruits and veggies, nuts, and muffins and bars made with whole grains. All provide the protein, fiber, and health-enhancing nutrients that we all need when we’re running in a million different directions.

Healthy snacks on the go w/ Drink Chobani via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

We created this blog post in partnership with Chobani and were compensated for our work. All opinions are our own.

1. Drink Chobani

Drink Chobani via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #snack

Quench your thirst and fuel your body with Drink Chobani™. This new, smooth drinkable yogurt is filled with flavor and an impressive 14 grams of protein designed to keep you rejuvenated when you’re on the go. It’s available in four delicious flavors including Straw’Nana, Mix’t Berries, Mango, and Apple Veg and made with only natural, non-GMO ingredients and real fruit. Drink Chobani™ has a third less sugar than other yogurt drinks*. {*Drink Chobani™ beverage: 22g sugar; other adult yogurt drinks: average 33g sugar per 10 oz. serving.}

Drink Chobani via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #snack

Each serving also contains 25% of your daily requirement for calcium.

Drink Chobani

2. Veggie Quiche Patties

Veggie Quiche Patties via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #snack

Made with enriching eggs and a few handfuls of Swiss chard, these adorable portable savory snack bites are one of our favorite dashboard dining delights 🙂

3. Homemade Muffins

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #snack

To say our Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins are one of the most popular recipes on Meal Makeover Moms’ Kitchen would be an understatement. This recipe has been around since our first cookbook, The Moms’ Guide to Meal Makeovers, was published in 2004. OK. Now we’re dating ourselves. Made with bananas, whole wheat flour, and other goodness, you’ll definitely want to cook up a batch this week.

4. Homemade Granola Bars

Our Grab-and-Go Granola Bars are made with whole grain oats, dried fruit, and walnuts, and they’re the perfect snack when you’re on the move. You can easily bake up a batch, freeze, and then nibble as needed.

5. Apple Nut Butter Sandwiches

Apple Nut Butter Sandwiches via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

Slice a sweet, crisp apple into thin rounds (crosswise). Spread nut butter on top, sprinkle with a few raisins, and put two rounds together for a circular sandwich that’s perfectly packable.

6. Holiday Trail Mix

Made with oat squares cereal, unsweetened dried cranberries, and pumpkin seeds, this festive trail mix is as easy to make as it is to eat. Pack along in zip-top bags when you’re craving something crunchy.

7. Cinnamon-Spiced Roasted Walnuts

Cinnamon-Spiced Roasted Walnuts via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #snack

The holidays go hand-in-hand with spiced nuts. The only problem is that most of the recipes out there call for lots of sugar. Our makeover is different because it calls for just a quarter cup of brown sugar. Enjoy each delicious, lusciously toasted walnut when you need something nourishing.

8. Hard Boiled Eggs

Hard boiled eggs via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #snack

The beauty of hard boiled eggs is their convenience. Now you can find them pre-made at the supermarket. But whether you make them yourself or buy them ready-to-eat, you’ll be getting 6 grams of high-quality protein every time you pop one of ’em into your mouth.

9. Fresh Fruit

Fresh fruit is nature’s healthiest fast food. Stock your kitchen with  Clementines, bananas, apples, and grapes so they’re always at the ready.

10. Turkey and Cheese Roll-Ups

Place a slice of deli turkey or ham and a slice of cheese on a plate or cutting board. Spread evenly with hummus, add a veggie down the middle—baby spinach, a green bean, or a bell pepper slice—and then hit the road running.

Tell us what you’re snacking on this holiday season.


Healthy Holiday Gift Guide – Cookbooks, eBooks, Meal Plans, Lifestyle eCourses, and More!

What are your go-to gifts for the holidays? Cozy slippers? A tacky Christmas sweater? What about the gift of good health? This year, consider some of our favorite good-for-you cookbooks, ebooks, meal plan subscriptions, and online healthy lifestyle classes to place under your holiday tree or menorah. From better breakfasts and wholesome baby food to lightened up Italian and a year’s worth of healthy family dinners, there’s something for everyone on our list.
(This post may contain affiliate links.)

Healthy Holiday Gift Guide via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #holidays #cookbooks

Our Favorite Books

Natural Baby Food via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #cookbook

Natural Baby Food: Over 150 Wholesome, Nutritious Recipes for Your Baby and Toddler by Sonali Ruder, MD

Baby and toddler food gets a healthy and delicious makeover with these 150 easy-does-it recipes. From salmon to cauliflower, get ready to be creative in the kitchen and have some fun feeding the wee ones at your table.

Rise & Shine via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #cookbook

Rise & Shine: Better Breakfasts for Busy Mornings by Katie Sullivan Morford, RDN

Our friend Katie Sullivan Morford is at it again with her delicious guide to building better breakfasts. We love her Barely Banana Protein Pancakes and can’t wait to try the Roasted Root Hash with Poached Eggs featured on the cover.

eat and Color the Alphabet via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #cookbook

Eat and Color the Alphabet: 26 Healthy Foods to Color and Explore by The Meal Makeover Moms.

Looking for a playful new way to inspire your family to eat right? Look no further than our newest book, Eat and Color the Alphabet. From avocados, blueberries and carrots to mangoes, nuts, oranges, and zucchini, each of the 26 coloring pages combines mouthwatering food images with mandala-style designs that are easy enough for kids to color but sophisticated enough for adults to enjoy too.

The Family Dinner Coloring Cookbook via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #cookbook

The Family Dinner Coloring Cookbook: Color, Cook, and Play Your Way to Healthy Meal Makeover by The Meal Makeover Moms

The Family Dinner Coloring Cookbook combines cooking, coloring, and hands-on activities designed to nurture healthy eaters of all ages. Included in the book are 10 classic dinner recipes made healthier—things like better-for-you fish sticks made with salmon and mac & cheese made with whole grain pasta and cauliflower “rice”—10 food-themed, mandala-style coloring pages, and 5 bonus activity pages including a Farmers’ Market Scavenger Hunt and a Foodie Word Search. We’re super excited about our new book!

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Entertain on a Budget: 4 Healthy Recipes Made with Pantry Ingredients

When the holidays roll around and you find yourself cooking for family and friends, you may also find that your wallet gets skinnier by the day. From elaborate parties to unexpected guests, the food cost associated with hosting a holiday party can add up quickly. To the rescue, we have 4 healthy holiday appetizer recipes that you can whip up in minutes with the help of inexpensive ingredients sourced right from your pantry.

Healthy, Budget-Friendly Holiday Recipes from the Pantry via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #holidays #recipes #healthy

If you’re like us, your pantry is probably overflowing with canned, bottled, and packed ingredients that you may have forgotten about.

It’s time to shop your pantry to save money at the holidays.

Healthy, Budget-Friendly Holiday Recipes from the Pantry via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #holidays #recipes #healthy #pantry #budget

Janice has the biggest and most well-organized pantry you’ll ever see! Last week, we invited some friends over to watch us in action as we sourced ingredients from the pantry and created 4 healthy holiday-inspired  appetizer recipes:

Sundried Tomato Tuna Bites
Holiday Rice and Tuna Cakes
Cinnamon-Spiced Roasted Walnuts
Butternut Squash Soup Shooters

The Boston Globe was there too, and their article on budget-friendly holiday entertaining will be published soon!

Healthy, Budget-Friendly Holiday Recipes from the Pantry via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #holidays #recipes #healthy

{We partnered with Bumble Bee to create some of these recipes and were compensated for our work. All ideas and content is our own.}

Healthy, Budget-Friendly Holiday Recipes - Sundried Tomato Tuna Bites via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #holidays #recipes #healthy

Sundried Tomato Tuna Bites

Pantry Staples: 
* Two 5-ounce cans Bumble Bee Albacore Tuna with Sundried Tomatoes & Olive Oil (or any other fun tuna flavor)
* 1 jar light mayonnaise
* 1 box small, round low-sodium whole grain crackers
* 1 small jar roasted red peppers

Easy Assembly:
Drain and flake the tuna. Place in a bowl with 1/4 cup mayonnaise and stir to combine. Top 21 mini whole grain crackers evenly with the tuna mixture. Decorate by arranging thin slices of roasted red pepper strips (1 ounce) over each of the tuna bites.

Nutrition Information per 3 cracker bites: 160 calories, 10g fat (1.5g saturated), 240mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 8g protein


Watch us cook up our Sundried Tomato Tuna Bites. Click the PLAY button below.

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that we all consume at least two seafood meals a week. For pregnant and nursing women, that recommendation is even higher at two to three seafood meals a week. This “recipe” featuring canned tuna gets you one step closer to the goal of eating 8 to 12 ounces of seafood a week.

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Cinnamon-Spiced Roasted Walnuts – Lower in Sugar But Packed with Holiday Flavors

Most of the sugar-and-spice roasted nut recipes that we’ve seen online call for half a cup to a cup of sugar, so the healthy attributes of the nuts (good fats, fiber, antioxidants) get sabotaged. Our “candied” walnut makeover has a hint of sweetness from just 1/4 cup brown sugar and lots of flavor from cinnamon, allspice, and ginger.

Cinnamon-Spiced Roasted Walnuts via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #walnuts #nuts #holidays

It’s impossible to eat just one of these nuts. They’re “more-ish,” because you always want more. Nuts are not low in calories, which is why we recommend a 1/4-cup portion, but they’re packed with good nutrition, so we encourage you to add a handful of nuts to your daily diet all year long. If you’re curious about nut nutrition, tune in to Cooking with the Moms, podcast #284.

Cinnamon-Spiced Roasted Walnuts via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #walnuts #nuts #holidays

From holiday parties to a hostess gift, our better-for-you spiced walnuts are easy to make and impossible to resist.

Make a batch, pack into Mason jars, and add a ribbon for good measure.

Cinnamon-Spiced Roasted Walnuts via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #walnuts #nuts #holidays

… or place into bowls and serve ’em up that way.

Cinnamon-Spiced Roasted Walnuts
This recipe has it all: sweet, spicy, slightly salty, and oh-so crunchy. It's also versatile, because you can easily swap the walnuts for pecans or almonds. As for baking up these beauties, keep a watchful eye, because the nuts can go from golden to burned in a matter of a minute or two!
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 16
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 pound walnut halves (about 4 cups)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly oil or coat a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. For easier clean up, line the baking sheet with aluminum foil and then coat with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk together the egg white and water in a large bowl until well blended. Add the walnuts and toss to coat evenly with the egg white mixture.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, allspice, and ginger, and sprinkle over the nuts. Toss until well coated.
  4. Spread the nuts in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet, and bake until the glaze is crisp and golden brown, 15 minutes. Toss and cook 3 to 5 more minutes until even more golden, as desired. Remove from the oven, toss, and cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: (1/4 cup), Calories: 200, Fat: 19g, Saturated fat: 2g, Carbohydrates: 7g, Sodium: 75mg, Fiber: 2g, Protein: 5g

 What’s your favorite, go-to holiday food gift?

7 Protein- and Peanut-Packed Tailgate Appetizers – A Healthy Makeover

Give your tailgate party a healthy makeover by adding flavor, protein, good-for-you fats, and crunch to everything from cheesy nachos and quesadillas to hummus and pizza. The all-star ingredient in our 7 winning tailgate recipes is peanuts, and you won’t believe how versatile they can be.

We created this post for PLANTERS and were compensated for our work. All opinions are our own.

Healthy Tailgate Appetizer Ideas via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #peanuts #snacks

1. A Big Pot of Chili

Serve up a big pot of chili on game day and set out a topping bar with cilantro, shredded low-fat cheese, plain Greek yogurt, and chopped PLANTERS Sea Salt & Vinegar Peanuts. Chili is synonymous with big flavors, so those sea salt/vinegar peanuts are guaranteed to add even more pop.

Why peanuts? Well, for starters, one ounce boasts 7 grams of satisfying protein. And a handful also brings nutrients like manganese (important for bone health) and vitamin E to the table.

Healthy Tailgate Appetizer Ideas via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #peanuts #snacks #nachos

2. Nachos

Top baked tortilla chips with black beans and low-fat shredded cheese. Heat in the oven until the cheese is gooey and melted, and then garnish with chopped cilantro, sliced green onions, PLANTERS Chipotle Peanuts, guacamole, salsa, lime, and plain Greek yogurt.

3. Quesadillas

Give quesadillas a vegetarian twist with peanuts and pinto beans. Fill whole wheat flour tortillas with low-fat shredded cheese, pinto beans, corn kernels, and chopped PLANTERS Chili Lime Peanuts. Serve with salsa and guacamole on the side.

Healthy Tailgate Appetizer Ideas via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #peanuts #snacks #hummus #vegetables

4.Hummus with Vegetables

Stir chopped PLANTERS Smoked Peanuts into your favorite hummus for crunch, extra protein power, and an unexpected flavor twist. Serve with your favorite vegetables:  baby carrots, celery sticks, bell peppers, English cucumber, and cauliflower.

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Making Holiday Pizzelles with my Dad + New Recipe for Coconut Almond Pizzelles {Recipe Redux}

Pizzelles are traditional Italian waffle cookies made with flour, eggs, sugar, butter, and flavoring. I gave these tasty treats a healthy makeover by replacing half the flour with almond flour, switching to coconut oil, and decreasing the sugar by a third.

Coconut Almond Pizzelles via Maealmakeovermoms.com/kitchen

When I think of baking cookies I think of my mom. She stills makes amazing cookies at least twice a week. However, when I think of pizzelles it’s all about dad. A very dear family friend, Lucy, used to send pizzelles over to our house on the holidays and dad always said how much he loved them. One year she gave him a pizzelle iron, and from then on, he started making them at every major holiday. I love his pizzelles and have always wanted to learn how to make them.

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Pecan Topped, Slightly-Sweet Sweet Potato Casserole + Sweet Potato Nutrition {Podcast Episode #294}

When we think of sweet potato casserole, images of brown sugar, butter, and mini marshmallows come to mind. It’s one of those traditional side dish recipes most families gobble up at Thanksgiving, but the sugar, fat, and calories can add up quickly.

Our sweet potato casserole makeover will bring better nutrition and just as much flavor to your holiday table.

Pecan-Topped, Slightly-Sweet Sweet Potato Casserole via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #casserole #healthy #Thanksgiving

Sweet potatoes are rich in immune-boosting vitamin A, and they’re a good source of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Why wreck all that great nutrition with a bag of mini marshmallows!

Tune in to this week’s Cooking with the Moms for this better-for-you sweet potato casserole and a few more! Click the player arrow below to listen.


Pecan-Topped, Slightly-Sweet Sweet Potato Casserole via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #casserole #healthy #Thanksgiving

To maintain its healthy reputation, we give sweet potato casserole a “fix” by adding just 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 2 tablespoons coconut oil to the entire recipe. And our topping is made with nutrient-rich pecans versus the usual sugary marshmallows. We also call for roasting the sweet potatoes versus steaming or boiling, which brings out the sweetness of the spuds even more.

Pecan-Topped, Slightly-Sweet Sweet Potato Casserole via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #casserole #healthy #Thanksgiving

This recipe is easy to make, naturally sweet, and at just 180 calories per serving, it’s a side dish worth making again, and again, and again!

Pecan-Topped, Slightly-Sweet Sweet Potato Casserole via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #casserole #healthy #Thanksgiving

Pecan Topped, Slightly-Sweet Sweet Potato Casserole
At Thanksgiving dinner, we like to take a little of this and a little of that. So even though we say this casserole serves 8, at the holidays, it will likely yield 10 servings. Depending on the number of guests at your table, you may want to double or triple the recipe. And if you prefer the flavor of butter to coconut oil, go ahead and make the swap.
Recipe type: Casserole
Serves: 8
  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons melted virgin coconut oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ cup roughly chopped pecans
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the sweet potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet. Pierce each potato several times with the tip of a sharp knife. Brush the potatoes with 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil and sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt.
  2. Bake until very tender, 45 minutes to an hour. Remove from the oven and reduce the heat to 350°F.
  3. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in half, scoop the flesh into a bowl, and mash until smooth. (You will have about 4 cups.) Stir in the orange juice, 1 tablespoon of the brown sugar, orange zest, ¼ teaspoon of the cinnamon, salt, and ginger. Place in an 8 x 8-inch baking dish and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
  4. To make the topping, place the remaining brown sugar, coconut oil, cinnamon, and the pecans in a bowl and stir to combine. Sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potatoes. Bake until the nuts are toasted and the casserole is heated through, about 30 minutes.
One serving provides 400% vitamin A and 35% vitamin C
Nutrition Information
Serving size: (1/2 cup), Calories: 180, Fat: 8g, Saturated fat: 3.5g, Carbohydrates: 25g, Sodium: 75mg, Fiber: 4g, Protein: 3g,


Looking for more healthy sweet potato casserole recipes? Check out these better-for-you ideas from some of our favorite RDN food bloggers:

Mixed Potatoes Anna from Rachael at Avocado a Day Nutrition

Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potato Bake from Serena at Teaspoon of Spice

Savory Sweet Potato Gratin with Pecans from Aggie at Aggie’s Kitchen

Sweet Potato Apple Bake from Ann at My Menu Pal

Lighter Sweet Potato Casserole from Amber at Homemade Nutrition

Spiced Mashed Sweet Potatoes from Anne at Fannetastic Food

Mini Sweet Potato Casseroles from Denise at Vine Ripe Nutrition

Tell us about your favorite holiday side dishes!

Pecan-Topped, Slightly-Sweet Sweet Potato Casserole via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #casserole #healthy #Thanksgiving

Mango Coconut Soft Serve – A Healthy Frozen Dessert

This healthy frozen dessert is perfect for Cinco de Mayo or any day of the year. Every luscious spoonful is sweetened naturally with mango and banana and just a drizzle of agave is blended in.

If you’re trying to cut back on added sugar in your diet, this is the dessert for you!

Mango Coconut Soft Serve via MealMakeoverMoms.com #Healthy #Frozen #Dessert #Fruit

There’s so much goodness in this soft serve “ice cream” frozen dessert—fiber, protein, and vitamin C—so let’s celebrate!

{Our frozen treat is technically not ice cream, but it sure tastes like it.}

Mango Coconut Soft Serve via MealMakeoverMoms.com #Healthy #Frozen #Dessert #Fruit

It’s hard to believe that a frozen, decadent-tasting dessert could have just 210 calories along with 7 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber, and nearly 50% of your vitamin C requirement for the day.

And yes, that’s cottage cheese in the recipe, which delivers a creamy texture and a satisfying hit of protein.

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Gluten-Free Amaranth Cashew Burfi — A Dessert Makeover {Recipe Redux January Challenge}

This Amaranth Cashew Burfi treat is a healthy twist on a traditional Indian dessert. Made with amaranth, cashews, raisins, oats, ground flaxseed, honey, and cardamom, it’s easy to make, vegan, and gluten free.

Amaranth Cashew Burfi via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #GlutenFree

We participate in The Recipe Redux blogger cooking challenge, and this month’s assignment was to pick a new ingredient that you’ve never used before and to create something with it. 

We worked with our intern, Lauren, on this recipe and post, and chose AMARANTH as our experimental ingredient! 

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