Healthy eating over Xmas

There are many ways that you can enjoy a healthy and nutritious Christmas so here’s how to merrily munch your way through the festive season.

Try to eat breakfast on Christmas day as this will fill you up and you will be less likely to snack on Christmas choccies!

Serve Christmas dinner with heaps of veg for a balanced meal which helps towards the target of at least five fruit and vegetables a day. Fruit and vegetables are a good source of nutrients and they contain hardly any fat!

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Microwave, steam or roast veg to preserve more vitamins. Cook and serve without salt. Try other flavourings like pepper or fresh herbs instead.

Cut potatoes for roasting into larger chunks - they’ll absorb less fat. Roast in a small amount of unsaturated (e.g. sunflower) oil for a healthier choice.

Turkey meat is a lower fat choice for Christmas dinner; traditionally goose was eaten but it is much higher in fat.

Meat and poultry may contain bacteria such as salmonella which can make you and your family very ill so it is vital that it is cooked properly to kill off such germs.

Try making your own gravy instead of using cubes or granules which tend to be high in salt.

At tea time go for turkey sandwiches, made with thickly cut bread and filled with spinach and watercress.

When it comes to the traditional Christmas pudding, for a healthy change, instead of serving it with brandy butter, try some natural yoghurt or even some fresh fruit.

If you’re having sweet treats like sweets, cake and crisps, try having them in smaller amounts.

During the party season, it’s easy to drink lots of sugary fizzy drinks but opt for water or fruit juice when you can or add a slice of lemon or lime to water.

For healthy snacks, go for unsalted nuts, dried fruit or satsumas.

Avoid feeling uncomfortably full by eating more slowly.

Get active rather than slump on the sofa - take a brisk walk, play an indoor game or maybe just crank up the music and dance away those calories!

If you are drinking alcohol try to avoid high calorie alcoholic drinks. Did you know that Smirnoff Ice has around 230 Kcals, a pint of Budweiser has 227 Kcals and a shot of Vodka along with a diet mixer has around 70 Kcals. Remember and drink sensibly - do not exceed 2 units per day for woman and 3 units per day for men.