Healthy Eating

6 festive food swaps to stay in shape

6 festive food swaps to stay in shape

6 festive food swaps to stay in shape

Kathleen Alleume

Yep, you can still enjoy dessert without falling off the health wagon. This nutritionist explains exactly how. 

Image: iStock

Silly season is in full swing. All the yuletide tipples, finger food and decadent desserts can quickly add up and find their way to your hips. Don't fret. Instead of avoiding social gatherings altogether, try these festive food swaps to stay in shape.

Plate it up

It can be hard to keep track of how much you’ve eaten if you graze through the buffet all evening. One way to avoid constant picking is to plate up your food once. Browse everything available first and then plan what you’re going to eat. Choosing the smallest size plate will ensure ample amounts of food, but also tricks your brain into thinking you’ve eaten plenty as it looks full.

Skinny starters

If you’re hosting an event, dish up skinny starters, instead of the usual hors d'oeuvres and fry ups. A fast and easy crowd pleaser is sliced cucumber topped with smoked salmon and a small dollop of crème fraiche, or ditch the fried spring rolls for fresh rice paper rolls made with prawns and avocado served with a light dipping sauce.

Leaner stuffing

When it comes to the main event, you can’t go past the traditional turkey or pork, however instead of breadcrumbs, experiment with different whole grains like quinoa, spelt, or bulger to reduce belly bloat if you have a gluten sensitivity.

Sexy sides

Who says salads need to be boring? Add seasonal fruit like figs or peaches to your green salad, or mix watermelon or mango for a mouth-watering salsa. If you’re firing up the barbecue throw on some asparagus, which pair beautifully with prawns and salmon or cut cauliflower into large steaks and sear some Portobello mushrooms for your meat free friends.

Go Greek

Potato salad or coleslaw is a classic accompaniment to an Aussie barbecue, however are often drowning in mayo. To cut the added saturated fat, without sacrificing flavour, DIY creamy dressing made with Greek yoghurt, olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon. It adds a delicious tang and gives the dish a protein boost and gut-loving probiotics. While you’re at it throw in some finely chopped celery for extra crunch and fibre.

Swap pudding for popsicles

While Christmas pudding and mince pies are a cosy treat in cooler climates, it can feel quite rich during the summer heat. Try an icy twist on this classic dessert by making pudding popsicles using reduced-fat cream, traditional fruit mince, and handful of raw nuts, a pinch of nutmeg, chopped dark chocolate. Blend all together and freeze overnight.

All things Christmas with Jamie Oliver2:04

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver reveals the perfect spread for an Aussie Christmas.



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