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Healthy holiday tips

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Although the holidays can be a tricky time to maintain your wellness routine, use these tips to keep you on track while still being a part of all the fun!
  • Try to maintain your regular eating habits wherever you can.  When you aren’t attending a function or celebration, follow your normal healthy eating plan. Spread your meals evenly across the day, and don’t skip a meal in anticipation of a large lunch or dinner. 
  • Plan your portions for every meal using the balanced plate model. 
  • Contribute to the dinner spread by offering to bring a side dish to the party.  Make something you know to be on the healthier side, like a vegetable crudité starter, a side salad or fruit kebabs for dessert.
  • Eat your holiday meals mindfully, taking time to enjoy and savour your holiday favourites.  You’re likely to have a smaller serving, and enjoy meal time even more than usual. 
  • If you are going to enjoy a helping of dessert, plan ahead and keep your portions small.  Cut back on the starch portion in your main meal and fill up with plenty of non-starchy vegetables and salad instead. 
  • If eating out:
    • choose a restaurant or café that serves a variety of healthy options
    • try to choose grilled, roasted or baked meat or fish instead of fried and ask for sauces to be served separately
    • ask for vegetables or salad to be served without added butter or dressing
    • avoid skipping meals as you will arrive ravenous at the restaurant or party and will be more likely to over indulge
  • Stick to your fitness routine as much as possible and set time aside to do activity most days.  Remember that every small bit counts, so even if you cannot get to the gym for your usual 30-minutes, three shorter 10-minute bursts of physical activity throughout the day still add up to a healthier version of you!
  • Wear a pedometer to track how many steps you have done each day.  This is extremely motivating and will encourage you to get moving on your holiday excursions
  • Limit screen time for the whole family.  When you do watch TV, try to move around and “multitask” as you watch or listen.  Try doing some stretching, sit ups, or even marching on the spot
  • Get involved in games with your kids – it can burn quite a lot of energy following your little ones around for hide-and-seek, last-touch or garden cricket
  • Go for a light walk after a big lunch.  Rope your relatives in for catch up time!
  • Spend more time relaxing and de-stressing outdoors – and you may notice your levels of physical activity going up without you even realizing it.

For further information, please contact the Pick n Pay Health Hotline registered dietitian on 0800 11 22 88 or healthhotline@pnp.co.za or visit www.nutritionweek.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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