Healthy eating at Christmas

Stay healthy over the festive season by following these five steps

Staying healthy over the festive season can be easy, if you know how! Here are some very easy ways for you and your family to be healthier this Christmas!

Tip #1 Don't overdo it

Try not to pile your plate up too high or go overboard on the ‘sometimes foods.’ It is Christmas so try to enjoy these foods in moderation and recognise that Christmas is one of those special occasions when we may enjoy small portions of these foods.

Having diabetes doesn’t mean you miss out on enjoying delicious food in the company of your family and friends, but you should consider your portion sizes.

Try to fill half your plate with vegetables, one quarter with lean meat and the last quarter with a starchy vegetable like potato, sweet potato, corn or legumes or some grains like rice, pasta or quinoa.

Download: Healthy entertaining guide

Tip #2 Try making a healthy platter

When preparing a platter for your Christmas event, try one that is healthy!

Why not make a fruit platter in the shape of a Christmas tree or a star, you could try making a broccoli Christmas tree platter made out of vegetable sticks and served with homemade tzatziki dip, and if you’re feeling super creative, why not carve a watermelon into a shark (as they are currently in season). 

Tip #3 Modify your recipes

There are some simple ways to make Christmas time healthier. Here are some easy swaps for you to try:

  • Swap white bread for grainy bread
  • Swap full fat dairy for reduced fat dairy
  • Swap white flour for wholemeal flour
  • Swap white potato for sweet potato, sweet corn or legumes (i.e. baked beans)
  • Try leaving the skin on your vegetables rather than peeling them
  • Choose salt reduced variety of sauces, biscuits and margarine and try not to add salt to your cooking or to food at the table
  • Choose lean meats and trim any visible fat

Learn more: Modifying recipes

Download: How can you be more health smart?

Tip #4 Try to be active

We are so lucky in Australia to usually have beautiful weather over Christmas, so why not get outside and go for a walk after lunch or go for a stroll along the beach with your family and friends.

Play with your children/ grandchildren and their new toys, visit a park and test out their new Cricket set or play soccer in the backyard; children love it when you watch them play sport but they will love it even more if you join in!

Download: Physical activity fact sheet

Tip #5 Avoid too much alcohol

Christmas and alcohol in Australia are usually good friends but alcohol is high in energy and drinking large amounts regularly can lead to weight gain.

Here are some tips to help reduce your alcohol consumption this Christmas:

  • Dilute white wine or cider with mineral water or diet lemonade
  • Dilute beer with diet lemonade to make a shandy
  • Try drinking low strength beer like mid-strength or light beer
  • Refill your glass only when it is empty so you know how much you are drinking
  • Make mocktails with diet soft drinks
  • Make sure you drink lots of water between drinks.

Download: Alcohol fact sheet

But most important of all, try to have a wonderful, happy and safe Christmas!