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Healthy Christmas Menu Hacks

Have festive season fun and indulgence while maintaining a healthy lifestyle with these healthy Christmas menu hacks.

Whether you’re on a weight-management programme or you’re just keen to eat healthier – or stay eating healthy – this festive season, we have some healthy Christmas menu hacks for you and the whole family!

Christmas menus are often seen as super indulgent and can often lead to “food comas”, indigestion, hangovers and more. But with these hacks, you can feel celebratory while feeling good too. Here are our healthy Christmas menu hacks.

  1. Always have jugs of water on the table. Sparkling water with fruit decor can feel “fancy” or a beautifully prepared water jug with cucumber, mint and strawberries not only looks festive, but tastes great too.
  2. For every glass of wine, have a glass of water. This subtle “rule” allows you to still have the wine you want, but ensures you’re hydrated along the way.
  3. In South Africa Christmas is at the height of summer and while traditional Christmas meals are heavy – think roasts and gravy – they were designed for the West’s cold Christmases. When planning your table, add more light dishes: salads, consomme (cold soup), fresh herbs and flavours. Try this festive strawberry salad recipe.
  4. Christmas tables often also include bread. Instead of butter, add some healthy spreads to the table, like hummus or baba ganoush. Check out these three ways to pimp your hummus, here.
  5. Have you heard of the “meat sweats”? Christmas tables can be laden with three to four different kinds of meat. For a healthier, lighter lunch that’s just as fancy, swap out meat for fish. Think: whole trout on the braai, salmon gravlax or even shellfish, like prawns or mussels. Add a vegetarian “main” into the mix too, like a butternut and spinach wellington, a nut roast or a vegetarian lasagne.
  6. When it comes to dessert, instead of heavy puddings, make fun ice lollies! Get the kids involved the day before and blitz watermelon into a juice or make your own flavours with fruits like kiwi and basil or strawberry and basil. These will go down a hit and are a nice light, fresh way to end a meal on a hot summer’s day.

For more healthy recipes, click here. Looking for more plant-based meal swaps and ideas? Click here.

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