Healthy Foods For The Holidays

Simple healthy dinner ideas and for the Whole Holiday

Today as I start the baking my Christmas Cakes 😊 – I thought it might be helpful to share ideas in preparation for healthy holiday recipes and how we prepare our complete list of gluten free foods to make our progress so much easier and adding to our relaxing plans and fun ideas instead of having any concerns over food.

As we prepare for the Holiday break – for us, its “always” about food! Whether your ideas relate to Christmas or celebrating Hanukah; for just as many cherished souls; my thoughts are to share are about our holidays preparation and family!

Our families Gluten Free considerations relate to my Stepmother, Brother and Sister-in-law. So obviously not a blood-related problem – but certainly important. I have friends that also live with this consideration so its been a life lesson for me too.

Our First Food Plans – simple ideas and healthy food choices for the whole holiday

Apart from linen, toiletries, and extras of everything to do with our cabins stay; (because we need 3 cabins this year)– which includes a lot of outdoors considerations in Australia – like chairs, eskies, hats and Factor 50 Blockout Cream, drinking water and different, varied drinks of enormous proportions….

The food story is always important because it’s an amazing way to bring people together. Our plan is always that everyone will have a choice of breakfast and lunch options plus snacks – of course. Our evening dinner is our group meal and I often seem to be the organiser – (maybe because – I was the oldest child, the most constructive, the bossiest? …  I’ve always loved cooking or…. I’m inclined to organise 😊…. everything-all of the above  …! )

Food Shopping lists – Our consideration always starts with
  • how many will be around for our 2 week stay?
  • with full consideration of Gluten free food for at least 3 of our 16 family….. any allergies, food dislikes and also preferences,
  • what is available from our local store? Closest supermarket?
  • And what will we take as an alternative in case we are not successful in our attempts to trap fresh crab – which we always consider a wonderful treat.

We work on having up to 18 people this year for breakfast lunch and dinner for parts our two week stay so our list always starts with seasonal specialties as summer in Australia is always wonderful for fresh fruits, berries, corn, avocados and salad vegetables.

We are also blessed by staying near the coast- so fresh fish and prawns are abundant. (Usually…. !!)

(Considering the time I have spent in Canada , in this season – availability of specific goods in the northern hemisphere was different but … amazingly, also very much the same – one of the wonders of our world now….)

We work toward this every year….

Breakfasts …. Cereals, yogurt and fresh fruits, eggs-bacon-sausages (cooked on the BBQ’s) toast, juice, milk, tea and coffee.

Lunches….  Sandwiches, salad, cold meats, leftovers-😊,   fruits and drinks

Dinner – per a “sort” of plan – always up to change depending on local crabs, fish and prawns.  A selection of meats based around 5 nights can be enough seafood (pray my brother didn’t hear that….!)

So Back to our list – The fresh fruits (allocated to one of us who travel down through the ranges and purchase our initial stock through the orchards) especially in stages of ripeness, so that stock covers us  definitely to the second week….

Shopper 1

  • Peaches
  • Nectarines
  • Melons
  • Cherries
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Apples
  • Avocados
  • Lettuce (several different styles)
  • Capsicum – Red and Green (Peppers)
  • Tomatoes – varied styles


Shopper 2 – Great markets up north, on the coast

  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes – Kurmara
  • Pumpkin
  • Carrots
  • Lebanese cucumbers
  • Zucchini
  • Cauliflower
  • Shallots and Red onions (own preference) according taste and style – brown, white, spring onions etc.
  • Corn, fresh and still in husks
  • Oranges and mandarins
  • Lemons and limes
  • Greens of choice – Broccoli, Cabbage, brussels sprouts,


Shopper 3 – Supermarket – dry goods

  • Aluminium baking trays (large) at least 6
  • Foil, Gladwrap, and baking paper
  • Pasta GF – two types
  • Plain Flour GF
  • Tomato Sauce GF
  • Barbeque Sauce GF
  • Canned Tomato pieces in puree x 2
  • Rice and Quinoa
  • Salt and pepper in grinders
  • Olive Oil and spray Olive Oil
  • Spices – cumin, coriander, Clive of India Curry Powder-GF, Dukka-(Lebanese mixed herbs)
  • Honey,Vegemite, jams-GF
  • Teas and instant coffee, ground coffee
  • Smiths Crisps GF
  • Rice Crackers for dips GF


Shopper 4 – Cold goods (Milk, and fresh bread including GF type, available fresh each day at the local store)

  • 4 litres Lite Milk
  • Feta Cheese
  • Parmesan Cheese – solid
  • Parmesan Cheese – Italian style – grated
  • Tasty Cheese
  • Cheese slices
  • 2 x 250 grms Cream Cheese
  • “Pauls” Vanilla Ice cream – (GF brand)
  • “Pauls” prepared vanilla custard – GF
  • 100% Butter and GF margarine
  • 2 x 1kg frozen green peeled prawns (just in case…. 😊)


Shopper 5 – all to be packed in 1kg lots and labelled

  • Beef, Lamb and Pork sausages GF 2 kgs each
  • 3 pork fillets
  • BBQ Steaks – 2kgs
  • ½ Leg of Smoked Ham
  • 2 Double Turkey Breasts
  • 2 Ducks or 6 Duck breasts


From these lists we can feed our crew with wonderful choices from breakfast to dinner and in-between too.

We have a wonderful large hooded BBQ that replaces an oven and stove during our stay – it’s a great advantage in the expected warm to hot temperatures and also just in capacity for so many expected people at our evening meals.

Back to my Christmas Pudding and cakes

Apart from the lists above we will all bring our homemade treats – all GF and special for sharing, my input is always the Christmas Puddings and Christmas cakes and Italian Almond Breads – which can easily be – whatever nuts I’d like to include depending on availability and price etc.  Almond, pistachio, pecan, or macadamias are a few type of nuts I might include.

I hope my lists above and all the things we share on our lists might help – considering our Gluten Free Food requirement to make life seem a little easier and prepare you for some of the recipes I’ve already added over-page and some yet to come before the holiday break.

I’ll post some more recipes before late December – and in my mind hope I’m sharing my love of cooking and making life a little easier for the GF community. 😊

As I opened I explained that this weekend is about those fruit cakes and puddings, GF, and I promise my variations to my (dear and passed) Nana’s recipe is unrecognizable as GF and so popular, I have been asked year after year if I would make and sell them….. that makes it more special to me to say, No, they are just especially done for family. So, its my plan to get to get this recipe to you in the next few days – and I hope you make, learn and share something that is so great – it really is.

I’d love to read your comments or share your ideas below. Also, if I could help with more detail or answer any questions please leave a comment below.


Sandy 😊

9 thoughts on “Healthy Foods For The Holidays”

  1. Hi Sandy, this is some awesome planning for your party and baring in mind the gluten free people. I know some people who need to be considered for gluten free too. Supermarkets now have their huge range of gluten free products which is brilliant for them. I like cooking from a recipe when I get the chance and I would love to visit Australia one day. Thank you for this information and good recipes.

  2. Hi Sandy,
    This is an awesomely yum-yum ingredient list! You just gave a whole lot of ideas on what to plan for my family’s mini party this coming weekend, as then is my sweet-Lil nephew’s day.
    The only thing I wouldn’t include is the pork as I do not eat them, but that’s okay, I believe I can always do away with one ingredient.
    Also, I can’t wait for you to share your recipe. It’s going t be so fun and tantalizing I think!😋

    1. Hello Tohin – thank you – and yes, if pork is unacceptable – suggest lamb fillets if you can get them – I have a circle of Muslin friends so I understand that “food requirement” too, again just another important one of life’s considerations – hope you have a wonderful party this weekend 🙂

  3. Hi Sandra,
    Great job on the list! I also have some family members who are gluten-free and it can be quite a challenge for them but especially for other people to figure out what to cook and how to accommodate that sometimes.
    It’s so important to the GF people’s well being and comfort, so I’m very happy to know that there is a guide such as this one to help us along in these types in situations. Also I’d love to experience Christmas in Australia once. Being from Canada, it’s hard to imagine a hot Christmas!
    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Jesse – Thank you so much for your acknowledgement – (I have friends out from Canada this Chrissy – one of them has her own issues that need consideration too – I seriously see these things just as life’s considerations ) again thanks 🙂

  4. This is great!! So many ideas too. I’m not real familiar with “gluten free” foods, but it’s becoming more of the norm in today’s world.
    I really like the sounds of shopper #5 list!!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Best of health,

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