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Have a healthy family meal this holiday season


Posted by Cags R under Nutrition on 9 December 2012 at 12:00 AM

As the eggnog, mince pies and cheese&pineapple sticks start to get passed around, it's very easy to give up on any concept of healthy nutrition! Today's advent calendar Challenge is to Have a healthy meal with your family.

Big family get-togethers are great around Christmas time but there is often a calorie price tag that comes with it - can you think of any other time when you have such a saturation of 3 course meals?! This is also the time of year when we crave warm, stodgy food to fill us up and put us practically into hibernation mode - but you can eat seasonal food without it being a total stogde-fest! 

Tips to keep your family's food healthy

  1. No matter what Nigella Lawson says, that is too much double cream! 
    As you'll be having more dessert than average this time of year, try to keep the choices healthy - go for fruit and nut based desserts which will still taste seasonal without being packed with saturated fat (it's still Christmas so you can always jazz it up with some booze!)
    Christmas Cake Dessert

  2. Steaming vegetables doesn't mean they're less tasty
    You'll keep in the nutrients as well as the texture if you steam your veggies rather than boiling them; there is nothing worse than a broccoli stem which melts in your mouth! Steamed vegetables maintain more nutrients and more flavour than boiled veg, they also have less fat than traditional roasted veg. Use the steaming water as a healthy base for stock too!
    Steaming Vegetables
  3. Starters are designed to wet the appetite, not appease it!
    If you're going all-out on 3 courses, remember that your starter portion doesn't have to resemble those you get in a restaurant. A small starter of smoked salmon with a creme fraiche and horseradish dressing is an elegant starter which is low in fat and carbs but high in flavour!
    Smoked salmon dish

What family meals are you looking forward to most this festive season? How keen are your family on healthy eating choices?

  • Encourage

    encouraged this.



    Since it is Summer Downunder, we have lots of seafood and salads. I love the traditional salads: homemade coleslaw, a tossed salad with plenty of tomato, red onion, Lebanese cucumber and salad greens. We also love the wombok, noodle and roasted almond salad with a soy dressing. Yum, I will have half a plate full. I must confess that I love Christmas pudding, full of fruit, with just a small serving of warm custard to the side. Yum, yum, yum

    Cags R encouraged this.


    I am going to be in Ireland for christmas ( alone, and away from friends and family) so the people i work for have let me stay for xmas at their place, i have no idea what kind of food i am in for this year for xmas as back home in nz its usually salads and cold meats.

    Cags R encouraged this.


    @amynz - if they're anything like the Irish mates I have you should expect a massive roast and an even bigger supply of booze! Enjoy your Irish Christmas (and take some Berocca for Boxing Day hangover!)

    Amy M encouraged this.


    I am one to usually eat healthy all year and during the holidays i try not to beat-myself-up if i try some other delights that i will probably not have for another year. I will have a variety of eats most very healthy options with a seafood fra diavalo, homemade roasted red peppers, fresh string bean salad, asparagus wraps & an antipasti platter (variety of olives, artichoke hearts, marinated mushrooms etc..).. and then some not so healthy family favorites... the cheese cake for my husband, it is his favorite and now that his mother has passed, i feel i should to make it for him, but there will also be a beautiful fruit bowl to go along with it along deserts cant forget my pizzelle cookies i make every year for my children. and my favorite "rum cake".. Have a wonderful holiday and try to watch what you eat between New Years and Christmas more so than between Christmas and New Years..


    why do i not follow spell fingers move much to Merry Christmas anyway....

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