Christmas Day 

Christmas Day can be about fun, family and festive cheer – and more often than not, lots of indulgent food and drinks!

Media reports suggest we can eat a staggering 6000 kcals (25104 kJ) on Christmas day, that’s 3 times the recommended daily intake for women and over 2 times for men. Surprised?

Here is an example of what this can look like:

  Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs on buttered, wholemeal toast with a glass of orange juice and a glass of champagne

  Mid morning: 2 satsumas and 6 fancy chocolates

  Christmas dinner: Prawn cocktail to start, followed by roast turkey and all the trimmings and 2 glasses of red wine. For dessert, Christmas pudding and cream and a coffee, all finished up with a cheese board, glass of port and a couple of chocolates

  Afternoon tea: Mince pie with a dollop of double cream and a glass of sherry

  Supper: Turkey sandwich with coleslaw, crisps and a slice of Christmas cake

  Evening: 8 fancy chocolates and 2 glasses of wine

We recognise that Christmas day is one for us all to enjoy, without worrying too much about indulging. But if you did want to try and make Christmas day little bit healthier, here are a few things you could try. Don’t forget you can use these tips too on Boxing day, New Year and all of the days in between….

Christmas day brekkie

Breakfast can help to get the day off to a good start. It a good source of energy and essential nutrients such as fibre, vitamins and minerals.

So, whether the family is ripping open presents or prepping vegetables in the kitchen, remember to take a little time to tuck into a healthy breakfast too. Don’t forget it could be a long time before the main meal is served, so a healthy festive breakfast may help to reduce the tendency to snack until then.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Add fresh fruit such as grated apple or pear, segments of satsuma or sliced banana to your favourite wholegrain cereal or porridge. To make breakfast a little bit festive, why not sprinkle on some cinnamon, a handful of nuts or dried traditional fruit such as cranberries, dates or figs. Both fresh and dried fruit count towards your 5 A DAY!
  • You could cook scrambled or poached eggs or even an omelette, and for a bit of luxury, add trimmings of smoked salmon with chopped chives and serve on wholemeal toast. Add tomato, avocado and/or mushrooms on the side for a bit of veg!
  • Try a festive mix of fresh orange juice and sparkling water. Cheers!

Christmas snacks

We are surrounded by tasty snacks at Christmas that can tempt us to eat when we are not really hungry. To help with making snacking that bit healthier:

  • Have lots of healthier snacks like fruit, unsalted nuts, vegetable sticks with plain yogurt and herbs, and other dips (try to choose those lower in fat, salt and sugar) to hand.
  • You could choose to keep the chocolates and candy canes off the tree this year – instead have smaller portions of chocolate and sweet treats and serve them only occasionally. 
  • As an alternative snack, try small slices of fruity breads (e.g. malt loaf) and some dried fruit (e.g. figs) or seasonal fresh fruits (e.g. pears, clementines).

Next page: Christmas Day (continued)

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