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Nutritious Festive Meals

Nutritious Festive Meals

The festive season is a time of excessive food and drink. We all love to enjoy summer and celebrate the end of another year. However, holidays are notorious for overconsumption.

There is nothing wrong with indulging in your favourite foods, but it is best to remember two things:

  • Moderation is key.
  • There are healthy alternatives that are just as delicious.

Making your favourite festive foods more nutritious is as simple as finding healthier recipes. 

Top tip: Use as many fresh ingredients as possible! The more nutritionally dense your meals are, the longer you will stay full and satisfied, which minimises snacking. 

Fruit Salad

December seasonal fruits include apples, mangoes, pineapples, raspberries, strawberries and watermelons.

Starting the day off with a lovely medley of these fruits paired with Greek yoghurt and some honey drizzled on top is an excellent breakfast for nourishing the body.

Try to mix it up each day with different combinations. Adding a few regulars, like bananas and apples, can make it more filling and balance the sweetness. 

Add more fibre, such as muesli, to keep your bowels regular, especially if you eat loads of meats and dairy for the rest of the day. 

Seafood

Seafood is rich in vitamin B12, iron, and magnesium. Try some smoked, glazed trout or a seafood “potjie” (A South African favourite!)

Seafood is low in saturated fats, high in protein, and packed with essential nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A and B. These nutrients are critical to maintaining your health—particularly your brain, eyes, and immune system.

A festive way to prepare the fish is to braai. Snoek is quite meaty and holds up well on the grill. Season with simple salt and cracked black pepper, or add onion, garlic and tomato slices inside for extra flavour.

Herb Roasted Chicken

What is more festive and reminiscent of Christmas time than a delicious roast chicken? But instead of using brine or butter as seasoning (which is high in cholesterol), why not roast it with some fresh herbs and spices instead? 

This recipe says to combine the chopped fresh herbs with olive oil. This is a healthy oil choice as it contains monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. Slather it on the skin, underneath, and onto the meat. The oil crisps up the skin for a nice, textured bite.

Chicken is a healthy meat. It’s lean and has a low saturated fat content compared to other options like beef and pork. It’s also low in cholesterol and high in minerals. Chicken contains iron, phosphorous and selenium, which help your body form and repair bones and help your body metabolise nutrients.

Rosemary Lamb and Potatoes

Another Christmas favourite is roasted lamb and potatoes.

Lamb is a rich source of high-quality protein and many vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. 

Regular lamb consumption and other red meats promote muscle growth, maintenance, and performance. In addition, it helps prevent anaemia. Anaemia is a low amount of red blood cells in the blood, usually caused by low iron or vitamin B12 levels. The symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath and lethargy.

Potatoes are a high source of complex carbohydrates and are rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant. They are also high in potassium, which helps maintain healthy blood pressure. 

Snack On Popcorn

Instead of snacking on ice cream and chips during the festive season, snack on popcorn. 

Popcorn is low in fat, low in calories, and high in fibre. To ensure your snack is healthy, avoid adding butter or too much seasoning to ensure your snack is healthy. You should also avoid microwave popcorn, which is high in fat. Make the popcorn yourself on the stovetop for the healthiest result.

We Are Here To Guide You Through!

You don’t need to eat greasy, sugar-rich foods to enjoy hearty meals and flavourful dishes. At Medical Society, we offer nutritional guidance for the whole family. Your diet is critical to your general health and well-being. 

When your body doesn’t get enough nutrients, it can result in digestive conditions or other symptoms like dizziness, fatigue, mental confusion, and lifestyle-related diseases like Type 2 Diabetes. 

Take care of yourself and your family’s nutrition this festive season by making healthy food and drink choices. 

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