Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pre Christmas organisation.....

I thought I would get in early before the silly season starts (however we, and our neighbours across the road are the only houses in our street with lights up - and on!! I swear my husband was a Grizwald in a former life!)

Christmas is a time for celebration, holidaying and socializing with friends and family and can also be a time for overindulgence. The occasional rum ball, glass of wine or treat for the kids need not be a problem, however if it becomes a daily occurrence health issues may arise. To help you enjoy this time without ending up looking like Father Christmas himself here are a few tips for the lead up to the festive season.
Try to eat regularly and encourage the kids to have fruit in between meals. Have your regular healthy meals and never go to a party starving. If you skip meals you are sure to fill up on high fat snacks. It only takes a few of these to add up to more kilojoules than your usual meal.
If you have a tendency to over eat at parties or gatherings only fill your plate once. Chat and mingle. If you are bored at a party you’re more likely to hang around the food. Turn your back on the food table. Out of sight out of mind!
Creamy dips, chips, nuts and are all high in fat and are very easy to eat in large amounts. Choose fruit, vegetable or bread based snacks or offer to bring a platter including low fat dips, salsa, vegetable sticks, reduced fat cheese and gherkins and home cooked popcorn
Chopped fruit platters can be a nice change from higher fat sweets. Cutting fruit into Christmas shapes adds to the festivity and encourages children to consume fruit. (See Christmas tree watermelon). Using a melon baller you can ball different fruits and thread them on skewers or toothpicks and serve with low fat vanilla yoghurt as a dip.

Christmas treats are in high demand at this time of year. For something different make up a batch of gingerbread cookies cutting them into Christmas shapes, making a hole in each biscuit prior to cooking. When they are cool you can decorate them to hang on the tree (make sure they are out of reach of pets!!). This is great for the kids to do and contain less sugar and fat than many commercial varieties.

Ginger bread Christmas decorations
100 g olive oil margarine
50 g brown sugar
2 heaped tablespoon golden syrup
2 level teaspoon ginger
200 g self raising flour

Mix all ingredients until it forms dough
Roll out onto floured surface
Cut out medium and large circles and stars
Pierce hole in each biscuit (for threading)
Bake in moderate oven until golden

Decorate using icing sugar, food colouring and water

Watermelon Christmas trees
6 slices seedless watermelon

Cut slices into triangles
Cut base into shape of pot (for little hands to grip on to)
Cut small V’s up side of tree to form branches


A-M said...

OMG, look at those darling little Christmas trees! You're brilliant Kate. Only you can make food so much fun! Great advice for tackling the Christmas parties... do I have the willpower? I need to formalise our relationship with a Dietetic consult... but I would probably lie about my 3 day diet diary and swear that I am only eating 1200cals a day. I would suck my stomach in, have every excuse under the sun for the scale reading and argue with every sensible scientifically proven suggestion you'd make. No, on second thoughts, maybe we should just meet for lunch Friday or next week? A-M xx

Bush Belles said...

Love the watermelon christmas tree idea. Perfect for taking a plate to daycare/preschool/playgroups Christmas parties. Thats what I'll be taking. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Hi Kate, we are trying really hard NOT to put our lights up just yet as we have a 7 year old who would like to celebrate her birthday first, but our resolve is fading fast! Good on you for embracing it, and I love those fruit and cookie ideas, my tree is going to look very cute with those gingerbreads on it!