15 Bariatric Friendly Holiday Recipes for Thanksgiving or Christmas | Bariatric Food Coach (2024)

Christmas appetizers, entrees, sides, drinks and dessert recipes for patients after weight loss surgery

15 Bariatric Friendly Holiday Recipes for Thanksgiving or Christmas | Bariatric Food Coach (1)

Thanksgiving and Christmas Holiday Meals after Bariatric Surgery

You can have a healthy holiday with these Bariatric Christmas Recipe ideas. It’s true holidays have to be different after Bariatric Surgery. Most patients will agree the first year is the hardest because you aren’t used to the change!

Of course we have sentimental memories and feelings around what the holidays should look like, including the menus and baking sessions.

When Pinterest fills up with amazing looking recipes or your sister has called asking what you are bringing this year, it’s okay to take a breath and recognize that change is hard. But there is also GOOD news! Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday dishes can be adapted to better suit your bariatric lifestyle and keep great flavor and enjoyment.

Plus, there is so much about the Holiday Season that brings joy outside of the foods we eat! We can focus instead on the things we love like time with family, Christmas decorations, music, lights, puzzles and so much more.

Below are 15 bariatric friendly holiday recipes are listed by appetizers, entrees, side dishes, drinks and desserts. These options are tweaked to reduce carbohydrates and fat or increase protein. And bonus, the best part of holiday meals is the main protein dish!

15 Bariatric Friendly Holiday Recipes for Thanksgiving or Christmas | Bariatric Food Coach (2)

Please note!! Some recipes are reserved for Premier Access Members. Find out about Premier Access Membership! HSA/FSA cards accepted.

Creamy Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs can be made SOOO many ways and they arealways a crowd pleaser. They don’t have to be only an Easter recipe! It’s a great Bariatric Christmas appetizer recipe too.

This recipe is one of the most classic recipes for deviled eggs but you can also make a spin like BLT Deviled Eggs .

Creamy Stuffed Mushrooms

Another recipe that can be made several ways and is always a welcome holiday favorite. Whether it be a holiday party before the actual holiday or an appetizer to bring to your family get together! I love bringing something I know I can eat myself.

Rosemary Turkey Tenderloin(Members Recipe)

If you aren’t cooking for a “crowd” so much as a few people, it’s wonderful to know you can make a simple turkey breast instead of the whole bird! Talk about bariatric friendly Christmas!

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Fall Inspired Turkey Sausage Tomato Sauce

You may think this doesn’t seem like a holiday recipe but I still decided to include thisbecause the flavors in this tomato sauce are so bold they remind me of a marriage between thick and hearty chili and a marinara sauce. For me, that’s a very holiday friendly meal! It’s cold outside and a big pot of a hearty meal on the stove is exactly what I want before decorating a tree or watching a holiday movie! I put mine over zucchini noodles.

Reduced Fat Green Bean Casserole(Members Recipe)

Skip the high calorie ingredients and enjoy this Bariatric Christmas recipe for a modified green bean casserole! One of my families favorites (and they don’t even know it’s not that bad for them!!!)

Parmesan Brussel Sprouts

Roasted veggies are a great Bariatric Christmas recipe for side dishes. They go great with the main protein dish and can easily be made festive with roasted nuts or sprinkling red pomegranate seeds for color!

I love these roasted brussel sprouts with parmesan cheese as a side dish to any main meat dish like ham or turkey. They are flavorful and fast and keep you on the low carb bariaric diet without making you feel totally ripped off!

15 Bariatric Friendly Holiday Recipes for Thanksgiving or Christmas | Bariatric Food Coach (9)

Green Beans with Toasted Pecans

I included these green beans with toasted pecans for the same reason as the parmesan brussel sprouts. Easy vegetable side dishes that are simple yet carry bold flavor and texture are a wonderful way to fill your plate for a holiday dinner or party. I always sign up for the side dishes for my family meals and bring roasted vegetables like these and they always disappear!

Mashed Cauliflower (Members Recipe & Cooking Video)

I tried mashed cauliflower SO many different ways before I finally came to this conclusion….it HAS to have Laughing Cow® Cheese to make it creamy and delicious. Fresh garlic never hurt anyone either! Trust me…this is the way to go!This is my favorite hand blender and my go to for this recipe! (ad)

This recipe is PERFECT for a holiday brunch or a Christmas morning breakfast! The red pepper gives it a fleck of holiday color too :) If I’m hosting or staying with family, I have been known to make the egg mixture the night before so I can get up and finish the recipe without the prep work when I’m wanting to take my time in the morning!

Another delicious holiday brunch recipe that is sure to please to masses. I take this one to breakfast themed parties all the time! Actually, I make this recipe as a breakfast for dinner meal or even when someone has a baby. I think it’s just an awesome WLS friendly recipe.

Candy Cane Protein Shake

If you are still on a diet using protein shakes (because not everyone is!! I have thoughts on protein shakes after surgery)…this shake a splash of minty fun for a fresh holiday taste. You may also use it as a sweet treat that doesn’t get you off track!

Bariatric FriendlyPumpkin Spice Latte (Members Recipe & Video)

Oh the Pumpkin Spice Latte!!! Similar to the Low Carber’s Egg Nog, this recipe is a concoction to get you the experience of your favorite warm drink without the the trouble :)

Low Carber’s Holiday Egg Nog

I know it sounds, well, wrong…but this recipe is the best way to get the taste of an eggnog type holiday drink without compromising your goals to stay low-carb and holiday healthy.

Chocolate Mousse Dip

Not going to lie, this chocolate mousse dip is very rich. Which means you don’t need much at all to get the rich chocolate flavor and satisfy a sweet tooth! With all the temptations around for the holidays, it’s nice to have a few options of sweet treats you can have that won’t interfere with your post-op weight loss goals.

Pumpkin Whip

The pumpkin obsession continues! It can be hard to find pumpkin flavored desserts that are truly low carb and keep you in the macronutrient goals for post-op patients. (More on macro goals in my blog “Most Asked Weight Loss Surgery Questions”) Pumpkin itself is high carb because it’s a root vegetable. Recipes like this one that use more pumpkin pie SPICE and lower amounts of actual pumpkin are a great way to get the taste without the carbs.

– Steph Wagner MS, RDN/LD (Bariatric Dietitian)

Updated November 9th, 2023
Original Publish Date December 14th, 2015

15 Bariatric Friendly Holiday Recipes for Thanksgiving or Christmas | Bariatric Food Coach (2024)


Is baked potato good for bariatric patients? ›

Keep up your protein and fluid intake to help prevent infection and dehydration. You may now include raw fruits and vegetables in your meals. Also, try experimenting with more solid foods. For example, choose a baked potato instead of mashed potatoes or an apple instead of applesauce.

What is bariatric friendly food? ›

Eggs, meat, nuts, Greek yogurt, cheese, and tofu are all terrific natural choices. You can also supplement your diet with protein shakes and bars. Just make sure the carbs and calories aren't outrageous (some of those products are for bodybuilders, while others are worse than candy bars).

Can I eat mashed potatoes after bariatric surgery? ›

In the first, you can continue eating any of the foods from Stage 1, plus pureed fruits and vegetables, oatmeal, mashed potatoes, cottage cheese, and low-fat dairy products. Beginning on day 11, patients may also consume soft foods, including meatloaf, baked fish, tuna and egg salad, cheese, and canned fruits.

Can bariatric patients eat pizza? ›

' Fortunately, you do not have to eliminate pizza from your diet forever after a bypass surgery, but you should wait for at least 6 weeks before you can comfortably enjoy your delicacy.

Can bariatric patients eat spaghetti? ›

In the first and second phases, limit your diet to liquids and pureed foods; hence, no pasta. You will start introducing soft foods like eggs, Greek yogurt, and some fruits and non-starchy vegetables in phase three, but still, avoid pasta as your body is still adjusting to the dietary and lifestyle changes.

Can a bariatric patient eat hamburger? ›

The gristle can plug the outlet of your stomach pouch and prevent anything from passing through, a condition that is very uncomfortable. Most patients find that lean ground hamburger is the easiest to tolerate.

Is bacon good for bariatric patients? ›

After your gastric bypass, high-fat meats like bacon, sausage, bologna, and salami should be avoided entirely. Not only are these types of meat fatty and high in calories, but they can also cause digestive issues due to their rich fat content. Eating high-fat meats can lead to more stomach discomfort and diarrhea.

What two types of food should you avoid after bariatric surgery? ›

Avoid sugar, sugar-containing foods and beverages, concentrated sweets and fruit juices. For the first two months following surgery, your calorie intake should be between 300 and 600 calories a day, with a focus on thin and thicker liquids. Daily caloric intake should not exceed 1,000 calories.

Are baked potatoes good for losing belly fat? ›

The truth is, you can eat a baked potato when you're trying to lose weight. This vegetable is relatively low in calories, a good source of fiber and rich in many nutrients that support good health. But like any food, when it comes to weight loss, moderation is always the key.

What foods you Cannot eat after gastric bypass surgery? ›

Foods that can cause problems at this stage include:
  • Breads.
  • Carbonated drinks.
  • Raw vegetables.
  • Cooked fibrous vegetables, such as celery, broccoli, corn or cabbage.
  • Tough meats or meats with gristle.
  • Red meat.
  • Fried foods.
  • Highly seasoned or spicy foods.

What is the best thing to eat after bariatric surgery? ›

Meal Plan for Bariatric Surgery Patients in Phase 4: Stabilization Diet
  • lean meat, poultry, pork, and fish.
  • low fat dairy products.
  • low fat starches and whole grains.
  • vegetables and fruits.

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