560 Calories in this Popular Christmas Food!

By Nicole German (RD, LD)

gingerbread cookieEven if you don’t celebrate Christmas, this time of year brings many holiday parties, sweet treats, and higher calorie beverages.

The best we can do is allow ourselves a few treats, and continue to eat healthy 80% of the time.

In order to make sure we are making informed decisions, I have created a no-nonsense guide to calories at Christmastime.

Some of these calorie amounts may shock you!

The Sweet

  • candy caneCandy cane: 55 calories for 6 inch candy cane
  • Peppermint bark: 140 calories per 1 oz. (the size of a dental floss box)
  • Gingerbread cookies (or houses): 120 to 200 calories. Varies based on size and recipe.
  • Peanut Brittle: 138 calories per 1 oz.
  • Frosted sugar cookies: 150 to 250 calories. Also varies based on size and recipe.
  • Fruit cake: 1 small slice is about 139 calories (43 grams or 1.5 oz).
  • Fudge: 117 calories and 20 grams of sugar per 1 oz.
  • Rum cake: 1 piece (4 oz.) is 400 to 560 calories and up to 54 grams of sugar! Yikes.

The Savory

  • lasagnaHam: 130 to 180 calories per 3 oz. slice. Turkey breast is only 88 to 150 calories per 3 oz serving! If you take the skin off the turkey, it will be on the lower end.
  • Glazed brussel sprouts: 70 to 100 calories per serving. The added bonus is that you get 4 to 5 grams of fiber per serving!
  • Traditional lasagna (with meat): Averages 300 calories per 1/6 of a 8 inch casserole serving.
  • Roasted vegetables: 110 calories and 4 grams of fiber on average per ½ cup serving.

The Liquid Calories

  • egg nogHot chocolate (or peppermint hot chocolate!): 190 calories and 32 grams of sugar per 12 oz (made with skim milk).
  • Egg nog: 350 to 400 calories per cup and up to 40 grams of sugar!
  • Champagne: 90 to 100 calories per 5 oz. flute.
  • Hot cider: About 80 to 100 calories per cup. You can easily make this from a high quality, fresh, 100% apple juice.
  • Mulled wine: 170 to 230 calories per cup.

Do you have any tricks for enjoying Christmas foods without letting the treats ruin your diet? 


  1. Ted

    I made my Christmas cookies with Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour this year and they came out better than they usually did using regular white flour. This doesn’t save many calories but adds nutrition. Also I tried the coconut milk egg nog So Delicious and it was pretty tasty and way less in calories. I mainly just allow myself to have treats at parties but then eat healthy the rest of the time.

  2. Dan

    Two things I love to eat during the holiday season are calorie bombs. These sweet potato souflee and pecan pie. Sweet potato souflee often has 270 calories for just one half cup. Regular ice cream often has 1/2 the calories for the same amount. Of course premium ice creams often have as many calories. My strategy is to cut down the number of days that I eat these things. Just eat them on Christmas day and then go back to eating regular sweet potatoes the other days of the year. Even then, large sweet potatoes, even if plain, can also have a lot of calories. So, I don’t eat a huge one everyday. I don’t drink eggnog very much anymore since I can’t be satisfied on just 1/2 cup of it which already has 200 calories. As I have stated in another posting, one or two tablespoons of eggnog can be used as a coffee creamer. I exercise on the holiday days as well. Exercise can help burn things off as long I stop overindulging. If I pigged out everyday from Thanksgiving to New Years, it would be very difficult to outwork out this. Eating perhaps 3 or 4 heavier meals the entire season can be outworked out, but not constant pigging out. Most days, I need to exercise and stay within my maintenance calorie intake range.

  3. Spectra

    I only allow myself a small amount of treats on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day. Then it’s back to my normal diet and exercise routine. I think most people get in trouble because they are eating sugar cookies from the beginning of December through the New Year.

    • SmoledMan

      More like Jan 1st to Dec 31st with a doubling in December.

  4. SmoledMan

    I don’t eat cookies period, much less this crap!