Coping with festive food FROm page 1

2015-12-24 06:00

Dish up vegetables first to cover half of your plate, followed by lean meat, fish or legumes to cover about one quarter of the plate. Dish up the starch option last, using the least space on your plate. You may even wish to leave it out completely to compensate for enjoying some delicious dessert.

It’s okay to not taste it all

At parties there are often numerous dishes on offer to cater for a variety of different preferences. If there is a tempting array of many scrumptious desserts, choose one or two of your favourites and have half servings of each. Your taste buds will be satisfied and you won’t be left feeling overfed afterwards. This is the area I need the most discipline in, and I have to remind myself that I will probably get another opportunity to eat desserts in my life — it doesn’t all have to be enjoyed today.

Keep your hands full

If you are attending a finger supper or cocktail party always eat off a plate. It’s easy at events such as these to nibble constantly without realising how much you’ve eaten over the hours.

Once you’ve chosen what to eat and put it on your plate, move away from the food table. Women, once you’ve finished what was on your plate, hold your evening bag in one hand and a drink in the other — this will make it very difficult for you to keep nibbling the night away.

Try to avoid the pastry items, rather choosing mini meatballs, cocktail sausages, stuffed eggs, small quiches and then, of course, the vegetables. Sometimes the only vegetables are in the garnish — load up those baby tomatoes and cucumber slices.

Sweet endings

Creamy fridge tarts, ice cream and trifle are not the only way to end a meal. Why not offer a fresh fruit platter, including watermelon, strawberries, cherries and Kiwi fruit?

I know this needs a change of mind-set, but often healthy choices are devoured quickly.

Keep moving

Make this season an active one. Take frequent walks, splash the hot days away in the pool or ask for a squash racquet or soccer ball under that Christmas tree. The more we eat, the more exercise we should do to burn up the indulgences — once again it is a balancing act.

Let’s build the momentum now for a healthy future instead of relying on New Year’s resolutions to undo the damage.

• Sharon Hultzer is a consulting
dietitian. She can be reached at

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