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Host a healthy festive meal

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When it's your turn to entertain, use it to your own advantage.

Prepare meals and snacks the low-fat way and stick to the same healthy eating rules that you follow for the rest of the year.

  • Make your own low-fat dips using low-fat plain yoghurt or cottage cheese and add a variety of seasonings such as lemon juice, black pepper and fresh herbs. Then, serve them with vegetable crudités rather than crisps or tortilla chips. 
  • Try making mince tarts rather than mince pies. Leave off the pastry top and this will save you around 3 g of fat per pie. 
  • When cooking the Christmas turkey, avoid smothering it in oil, butter or margarine when you cook it. If you do need some sort of basting, use a pastry brush to add a light covering of oil over the bird rather than pouring or spooning it over. 
  • Use less fat to roast your potatoes. Parboil them first, and then brush them lightly with oil rather than pouring straight from the bottle. Keep the potatoes in large pieces too, as this reduces the amount of fat they absorb. 
  • If you’re going to use the meat juices to make your famous gravy, drain off the excess fat from the meat juices first. 
  • Prepare plenty of vegetables with your roast feast! Make a sweet potato mash with a hint of ground cumin. This will make a nice change to the standard potato mash. Or try wrapping grilled asparagus with a thin strip of prosciutto and tossing baby green beans in fat-free vinaigrette with some wholegrain mustard and chives.
  • Have a light starter for your festive meals, such as a fig and rocket salad with a little blue, goats or cottage cheese.
  • For a festive dessert, supply the ingredients for a ‘build-your-own Pavlova’! Pile meringues high onto a platter; serve separate bowls of mixed berries and fruit, as well as some whipped cream and low-fat vanilla yoghurt! This way people can help themselves to as little or as much as they'd like.

For further information, please contact the Pick n Pay Health Hotline registered dietitian on 0800 11 22 88 or healthhotline@pnp.co.za. To find a registered dietitian in your area, visit the Association for Dietetics in South Africa (ADSA) website at www.adsa.org.za.


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