Every family has its holiday favorites. Some go for traditional turkey and dressing, or choose fancy with a standing rib roast or honey baked ham. But whether you always serve that infamous green bean casserole or change side dishes every year, food is an important part of every holiday.
Even more important, the preparation and serving of holiday family dinners may contain traditions you are less aware of, but which are just as important for everyone. It pays to look at those unspoken traditions to make sure that they serve your family well.
How are you passing your traditions along to the next generation? Now everyone loves Aunt Francis’s dinner rolls and Uncle Bob’s turkey gravy, but are the kids getting a chance to help bake and make these family favorites? By including some of the younger members of the family in the preparations, you help ensure that future generations will enjoy the same tastes that delight them now long after the instigators are gone.
You may also find that the standard recipes no longer serve your family as well. Old-style heavier meals may be too much for today’s diet and nutrition goals. While the holidays are certainly a time to indulge a bit, how about adding some lighter fare so that people can balance their enjoyment with some attention to good eating habits. For example, you could replace the cheese and cracker appetizers with vegetables and a tasty yogurt dip, letting people fill up while leaving the calorie-intense foods for dessert.
Holiday food traditions are for enjoying and sharing with others. Remember to plan ways to pass those traditions along with each generation, along with making changes that suit your family’s needs and the overall shifts in how we’re eating now. And above all, enjoy the process of preparing and indulging in your family’s traditional holiday feasts.