Cheers to a Healthy St. Patrick’s Day!

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Green beverages, traditional food, parades, and Irish music—the perfect combination for a St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

St. Patrick’s Day was first celebrated in Ireland on March 17, 1631! Here in the United States, St. Patrick’s Day was first celebrated in Boston, MA in 1772. These celebrations are stronger than ever, and although they’re fun and joyous, they can weigh heavy on the waistline. 

Corned beef and cabbage is the most popular dish on this holiday in the United States. This tradition stems from Irish immigrants who found substitutes for their traditional meals that were less costly. Although cabbage is healthy, there are many other parts of this dish that can be enjoyed with a healthy twist.

Let’s take a look at how you can enjoy healthy, traditional St. Patrick’s Day meals:

Soda bread: 

  • Swap white flour for whole wheat flour
  • Create your own buttermilk with low-fat milk and vinegar

Corned beef:

  • Use skirt steak or brisket with pickling seasoning instead of canned corned beef
  • Roast the meat rather than oil frying 

Fish and chips:

  • Oven bake or air fry rather than oil frying
  • Use panko, pretzels, or baked potato chips as a crust rather than traditional bread crumbs


  • Use low-fat milk rather than cream, and reduce the amount of butter
  • Swap out white potatoes for sweet potatoes

Shepherd's pie:

  • Use olive oil rather than butter
  • Double the veggies and reduce the number of potatoes by half 

These tips make it easier to enjoy yourself without worrying about excess calories. However, if you do want to indulge in some of your favorites, we have some tips on how to do it mindfully. 

Here’s how you can practice moderation with your favorites:

  • Choose smaller portions.
    • Make a sample plate of all your favorites so you get a taste of everything. 
  • Sip on and finish a glass of water between alcoholic beverages.
    • Take your time with alcohol since the calories add up quickly. 
  • Fill up on nutritious food before the celebration. 
    • The hungrier you are, the more likely you are to overdo it. 
  • Focus on the people you’re with rather than the food around you. 
    • Engage in conversation and enjoy yourself!

Have fun experimenting with different methods and ingredients, you never know what you’ll try that becomes your next tradition. Cheers to a happy and healthy St. Paddy’s Day!