Holiday Do's and Don'ts & The Classic (Healthy) Green Bean Casserole
Nutrition Blog

Holiday Do's and Don'ts & The Classic (Healthy) Green Bean Casserole

Do List

  • DO: Allow yourself to enjoy SOME (not a ton) indulgences. Healthy habits include allowing yourself to enjoy foods that might not be the most healthy on occasion. Complete restriction can lead to binge eating and making poor food choices in abundance.
  • DO: Fit in a few extra minutes of physical activity when you can. For example: after dinner, walk for 5 minutes. Or if you have a break at work, walk up and down the stairs for 5 minutes.
  • DO: Monitor and respond to hunger cues. If your tummy is growling, you’re getting a headache, you feel cranky, or it has been > 4 hours since your last meal or snack, it may be time to eat. If you WANT to eat just because there is food in front of you and there are no hunger cues, consider holding off (especially if you have eaten in the previous 2 hours.)

Don’t List

  • DON’T: Overindulge. Pick your favorite things at the holiday meal and have a little of each. Avoid the items that are just “ok” completely. After you finish your FIRST plate, give your stomach 20-30 minutes for digestion before deciding if you should get more. It takes that amount of time for our brains to realize that we are full.
  • DON’T: Feel like because it is the holiday, it’s ok to eat whatever you want whenever you want. This can really help you put on the pounds! Instead, enjoy time with family and friends doing things that don’t always revolve around eating/meal time.
  • DON’T: Stop being physically active! Exercise and physical activity can help with some of those extra calories!

Healthy Green Bean Casserole


  • 2 pounds green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (fresh or homemade, whole wheat is healthier choice)
  • ¼  cup shredded or crumbled cheese


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Mix green beans in a bowl with 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Spread evenly on baking sheet(s) in a single layer.
  • Roast in heated oven, stirring 1-2 times until tender and beginning to brown, about 25 minutes.
  • Once beans are removed from oven, turn broiler on.
  • Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, cook, stirring frequently.
  • When onions become soft and golden brown add flour, salt, pepper; stir and cook for about 2 minutes.
  • Add milk, stir quickly, incorporating browned bits.
  • Cook, stirring, until the sauce  thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, and then remove from the heat.
  • Mix green beans with milk sauce in a large bowl and spread evenly in 2 quart baking dish.
  • Mix breadcrumbs and shredded cheese together and spread evenly on top of green beans.
  • Place dish under broiler, for about 2-6 minutes. It is important to monitor closely as it is easy to burn things in the broiler. Check frequently! When topping is golden brown, remove from oven, let cool, ENJOY.