Healthy Tips: Using Up Holiday Leftovers

Related To:

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Instead of tossing those holiday leftovers to avoid more over-indulging, use them to your advantage. Here are some practical tips and recipes to help you reduce food waste and space out the calories.

Give It Away Now! If you hosted the holiday festivities, plan ahead and have resealable plastic bags and food storage containers handy to send guests home with goodies. This works perfectly for cookies, candies or other sweets.

Zip It Good. Make sure to store all leftover foods in airtight containers; this keeps things fresher longer and gives you more time to finish off the stash.

Chill Out. Utilize your freezer — soups, cooked vegetables, breads, pastries and cookies all freeze very well and can be thawed for later indulging.

Recreate the Plate. Serve small portions of leftover turkey, roast beef or ham along with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables for sandwiches, salads, wraps or a light main course.

Recipes to Try:

Mix It Up. Toss left over veggies and seafood with small portions of pasta or brown rice.

Veg Out. Reduce portions of high calorie favorites by adding fresh or frozen vegetables to creamy soups or leftover mashed potatoes.

Go Nuts. Add remaining nuts and dried fruit to a simple and light spinach salad.

Recipe To Try:

Be Creative. Combine herbs and roasted root vegetables along with a pinch of low fat cheese to make quesadillas, minis pizzas or omelets.

Safety First. Most foods will stay fresh for up to seven days, but if it looks or smells even a little funky, throw it out!

Feel the Burn. Work off some of those extra calories! Make sure to get some exercise in the weeks following holiday get-togethers. Prep leftover plates and march them to your neighbors (especially any ones up a hill).

Dana Angelo White, M.S., R.D., A.T.C., is a contributor to Food Network's Healthy Eats blog. She is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana's full bio »

Keep Reading

Next Up

Healthy Holiday Parties

What to eat (and stay away from) while entertaining over the holidays.

Cut the Fat in Baking

Dial down the butter and oil and still make delectable baked goods with a few easy swaps from Food Network.

Be a Better Host: Cooking for Guests with Food Allergies

Navigating the holiday table when you have gluten, dairy or nut allergies can be stressful, but as a host, you can make simple changes to your menu so you can please everyone on your guest list.

Baking with Sugar Alternatives

Find various ways to use sugar alternatives when you're making your tasty baked goods this holiday season. Find more recipe tips and ideas like these on Food Network.

Ellie's Top Ten Tips for Healthy Living

Learn how to become a better eater with help from Ellie Krieger.

Importance of Healthy Fats

How much fat should you eat each day, and what does it do? Find out.

Italian Favorites, Lightened Up

Eat all your favorites, like lasagna, eggplant Parmesan, spaghetti and meatballs, fettuccine alfredo and chicken Parmesan, with our lighten-up tips.

Why You Need Healthy Carbs

Carbohydrates give your body energy — learn about the different kinds and how much you need.

What Is a Heart-Healthy Diet?

A heart-healthy diet limits saturated fat, trans fat and dietary cholesterol. Find out what foods to add to your routine with these tips.

How Butter Can Fit Into a Healthy Diet

Butter makes food taste good, and if you use it right, it can be part of a healthy diet.
More from:

Holiday How-Tos

On TV

Get Cooking

Entertaining Ideas

Mark each of life's stages with key recipes every grown-up should know how to cook.