Holidays such as Chinese New Year and Christmas are good opportunities for gatherings with loved ones, while enjoying seasonal treats such as Chinese New Year cookies and Christmas turkey. Feast smartly by making healthier food choices so you can enjoy the celebrations while nourishing your body
Know the calorie count of your favourite snacks. One pineapple tart contains about 82 calories, one love letter contains about 56 calories, and a single slice of bak kwa contains a hefty 370 calories. To help curb your caloric intake, snack on mandarin oranges instead, and aim for two servings of fruit a day — that’s approximately two small mandarin oranges.
When buying new year cookies, visit bakeries that offer low-sugar or wholegrain options on traditional favourites like pineapple tarts and love letters. Polar’s sugar roll is among its most popular items, and comes in a wholegrain, reduced sugar version.
Bak Kwa is a Chinese New Year staple, but the barbecued pork jerky packs a punch in fat and sugar. Cut slices of bak kwa into smaller pieces, and limit yourself to one to two pieces to control your caloric intake.
While steamboat is a common Chinese New Year meal, they can be high in sodium, oil and fat. Replaced processed food such as crab meat sticks, sausages and fishballs with fresh ingredients such as vegetables, mushrooms and fresh fish. Prepare a simple stock by boiling skinless, lean chicken meat with carrots, corn and potatoes, which will sweeten the soup naturally.
Related: How to Survive Chinese New Year Feasts
Turkey is good choice of lean protein, as long as you stay away from too much cranberry sauce and gravy! Chicken, especially chicken breast, is an alternative source of healthy protein.
Toss a fresh, green salad to accompany your meat. Diets rich in plant protein have been linked to lowered blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and provide a good source of fibre.
When filling your plate, choose larger portions of healthy dishes such as lean meat, salad and roasted vegetables. Take smaller amounts of cream based and cheesy foods, which will help to lower your fat content.
What’s a festive season without dessert? Christmas is a time for puddings and log cakes, as long as you enjoy them in moderation. Drink a cup of unsweetened tea before desserts, which will fill you up so you don’t overindulge. Tea is also high in antioxidants which helps fight free radicals. These free radicals are elements that damage our cells and have been linked with health issues.
Related: Toast to Health This Christmas and New Year Season
If you’re throwing a party, look for caterers which are part of the Healthier Dining Programme. These businesses offer healthier ingredients such as wholegrains, healthier cooking oil, and less deep fried items in their menus. Limit the amount of deep fried food in a buffet spread. Out of ten dishes, order no more than two deep fried ones. Include salads or fruit platters in your buffet spread instead, which will help your guests enjoy a healthier festive season!
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This article was last reviewed on
Thursday, December 1, 2022
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