Healthy Food Substitutions List: Smarter Celebrations Your Family Will Love
January 19, 2022
Healthy Food Substitutions List - Eggs to bananas

Healthy Food Substitutions List for Smarter Celebrations Your Family Will Love

If a healthy food substitutions list sounds like it'll make your celebration LESS fun, I urge you to keep reading! As a Healthy Hostess I serve better for you snacks and recipes to unsuspecting guests all the time! And no one has complained yet!

To make it SUPER easy for you I've broken the plan down into three parts to fit your lifestyle wherever you might be starting. If you're reading this there's a good chance that eating healthier might is a great idea for you and your family. But if you don't know where to start we're going to BABY step our way in.

Simple food substitutions list for beginners - by Salt Lake Healthy Hostess

Healthy Food Substitutions List for BEGINNERS

This is the list of EASY food substitutions that aren't tough. Things you won't miss at all. Regular ingredients you probably already have or can easily get at the store. They also don't make HUGE improvements to the nutrition profile of your food but that's OKAY. The whole goal here is to make tiny improvements that stick.

Over time these little things add up to big changes…..for the better.

Download your copy below to keep as a cheatsheet on the fridge or pantry. Use it as a reminder when making your grocery list or preparing food.

And bookmark or pin this page so when you're comfortable with the BEGINNERS list, you can move up to the INTERMEDIATE list. {coming soon}

Healthy Food Substitutions: Cream Cheese to Neufchatel

Healthy Food Substitution list - cream cheese to neufchatel

Cream cheese is AMAZING and is one of the few dairy items I can't seem to cut from my diet! But if you can choose the 1/3 less fat Neufchatel option instead you win in the nutrition department and I can't even taste a difference in my recipes.

Why not switch? If you've never tried it, let me know what you think!

Recipes to try your Neufchatel:

Healthy Food Substitutions: Bleached White Flour to Wheat Flour

Healthy Food Substitutions List - flours

This is super common sense right? We all know that whole wheat is better for us than all-purpose white flour, but do you really know why?

All-Purpose White Flour

White flour is heavily processed and much of the nutritional value removed. Leaving behind the easily digestible {read “high glycemic index”} with little value to your body.

THEN, they bleach it to make it whiter. Cause no one wants yellow flour. Ew, gross. But seriously, I'm more grossed out by the idea of my flour being bathed in chemicals that are banned in Europe.

Whole Wheat Flour

If you're not ready to switch to 100% whole wheat or whole white wheat flour then just try subbing a portion of the recipe and see how it goes. Lighter breads and pastries won't work as well but I've made delicious whole wheat crepes without any complaints from my family.

If you want to know more check out the Whole Grain Flour Glossary {coming soon} for great whole wheat options and other gluten free flour alternatives.

Healthy Food Substitution: Reduce Sugar by 1/3

Healthy Food Substitutions List - Lower your sugar

This one is super easy. I'm not recommending you change your sugar, just add less. As a beginner this is a great first step. Cut back the sugar called for in your recipe by 1/3. So if it calls for 1 cup, only add 2/3 cup of granulated white sugar and see what you think.

If you're addicted to sugar {it's an actual addiction for the brain} it'll take a little while to adjust your palette. But once you do, it'll be sweet enough and you may be ready to take the Intermediate step! {coming soon}

Healthy Food Substitutions List: Vegetable Oil to Applesauce

Healthy Food Substitutions List - oil to applesauce

I've been doing this since college. I've never been able to stomach the idea of shortening and oil seemed just as gross.

I now have a greater appreciation for the different TYPES of oils their benefits {or not} so it's not a terrible thing to use the right oil. BUT, if you can cut back on the fat and not lose any moisture or flavor, why would you not!?

Healthy Food Substitutions: Eggs to Mashed Bananas

Healthy Food Substitutions List - Eggs to bananas

Replacing eggs with mashed banana is another great way to lower the fat and cholesterol in your recipe. It also really comes in handy when you've run out of eggs! You can also just use egg whites to reduce the fat as well.

Or if you have a guest with an egg allergy and don't want to buy a fancy box of Egg Replacer bananas are a perfect stand in! {But I do have the Egg Replacer and I really like it.}

Eggs are #2 on the Top 8 Food Allergy List so chances are pretty good someone you know will LOVE you for this substitution.

Great Banana Recipes:

  • Nut Butter Protein Mug Cake {coming soon}
  • Banana Breakfast Bites {coming soon}

Healthy Food Substitutions List: Instant Oats to Rolled Oats

Healthy Food Substitutions List - Oatmeal

This seems like exactly the same thing. So, what's the big deal?

I'll tell you.

Instant Oats

Instant oats are highly processed. They're rolled, then steamed to partially cook them, then dried and rolled again for the thinnest oat and mushy texture. If the processing doesn't bother you, they've got much the same nutritional value of carbs, fat, and protein, but the steaming kills many of the micro nutrients.

And instant oats are often packaged with powdered milks, flavoring, and lots of sugar to masquerade as a “healthy” breakfast.

Rolled Oats

Rolled oats have been rolled. Quick oats are rolled thinner than regular rolled oats but it doesn't affect the nutrients. The resulting oatmeal is a but chewier, which I like, and gives you a little more fiber. You can also cook these rather quickly, and even in the microwave.

To substitute in a recipe, just add them to the blender and pulse a few times for the perfect oatmeal cookies and crumble toppings.

We'll talk about Steel Cut oats as we get further along on our Healthy Hostess journey.

Great Rolled Oats Recipes:

  • Banana Breakfast Bites {coming soon}
  • Lemon Blueberry Breakfast Muffins {coming soon}

Healthy Food Substitution: Butter to Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Healthy Food Substitutions List - Butter to oil

We know butter isn't super great for us but oil isn't that great either, right?


It's true that both butter and oil are a fat that needs to be monitored, but butter has the extra charges of being:

  • Dairy product {allergen}
  • High in saturated fats and cholesterol
  • Animal product {not suitable for vegan diets}

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Choose olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is the least processed with the most nutrients still intact. It adds great flavor to dishes and has some awesome health benefits like being:

  • Anti-inflammitory
  • Mono-Unsaturated Fat {the “good” fat}
  • Antioxidants
  • Possible links to lower blood pressure

Healthy Food Substitutions List: Milk Chocolate to Dark Chocolate

Healthy Food Substitutions List - Milk chocolate to dark

People are very divided on this subject. Some LOVE milk chocolate and despise dark. Others LOVE dark and tolerate milk.

Milk Chocolate

As the name implies, “milk” chocolate does indeed contain milk, so it's not a great choice for those of use that are dairy intolerant. {like me} It also usually contains more sugar cocoa butter than dark chocolate. Many chocolate confection makers add food grade waxes to their products so they are nice and shiny and hold their shape. Unfortunately, they also taste like wax.

Dark Chocolate

This chocolate is more bitter and takes some getting used to if you're Team Milk. But besides the taste, which I adore, lower sugar, and lack of milk, there are additional health benefits like antioxidants. It's also anti-inflammatory, may reduce blood pressure and actually reduce insulin resistance!

So it looks like we can eat MORE chocolate if it's dark. I'm mean, there's not much more to say about that!

Great Dark Chocolate Recipes:

  • Gluten-Free Molten Chocolate Lava Cake {coming soon}
  • Date Ball Truffles {this is more of an ADVANCED Healthy Recipe, but if you're willing to try it out I promise you won't be disappointed!}

BONUS Food Adjustment: Instant Coffee

Healthier food substitutions - instant coffee to chocolate cake

Another fun thing I thought I'd share is adding instant coffee crystals to your chocolate desserts to enhance the chocolate flavor. You can also use coffee substitutes like Pero or Postum with the same effect. You get more bang for your buck with this one. Using less chocolate for the same amount or more flavor!

Try it out and see if you agree with me on this one!

Which Substitutions Will You Try?

Which of the ideas on this healthy food substitutions list did you already know about? And which ones are new that you think you might need to try?

I'd love to hear all about your Healthy Hostess journey in the comments below. How did your substitutions work? Which recipes did you try it on? Did your family even notice!?

If you can, I'd LOVE to see photos of your food. And if you share them, please tag us @partieswithacause on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest so we can see them too. We love celebrating all your hard work! 


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More Healthy Party Food Ideas

Healthy Apple Donuts

Healthy Cake Pops

Chocolate Date balls with straws for a healthy "cake" pop

Under the Sea Coral Reef Veggie Tray- Healthy Food Art

Red Food Fruit Heart – Healthy Food Art

Pin it for Later

Download a food substitution guide for healthier events - by Salt Lake Healthy Hostess
Until next time my friend! Signature and photo

Research Sources

All-Purpose Bleached Flour:

Olive Oil:

Dark Chocolate:

Healthy Food. Get your simple food substitution guide by Salt Lake Healthy Hostess


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Gingerbread houses in a row as table runner centerpiece for a Christmas Cookie Exchange Party I’m Bri of Parties With A Cause. I’m a mother to three crazy awesome kids, interior designer, & party planning junky. I love reading, globe trotting, and frozen yogurt. And I’m elevating the party experience one cause at a time! Read More

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