Festive Feasting: Managing Holiday Food Preparation
Food preparation on a daily basis can be stressful enough, but preparing the Christmas lunch or dinner elevates things to a new level! It is estimated the average Australian puts on between 0.8 – 1.5 kg (or 1.8 – 3.3 lb), over the festive season due to increased calorie intake and reduced levels of activity.
Christmas and food may be synonymous, but this doesn’t have to mean that weight gain is inevitable! Making small, healthy changes in the way you prepare food can help to reduce calorie consumption and put a stop to the creeping Christmas waistline!
- Reduce the amount of oil you use (and the cooking time) by par-boiling or microwaving vegetables before adding them to the roasting pan.
- Instead of making a variety of cakes and puddings for desserts try cutting up some fresh fruit and making a fruit salad, alternatively try making small, individually portioned desserts.
- Be mindful of taste tasting! If you know you tend to snack mindlessly as you prepare food, have some low calorie options like chopped carrot, capsicum and cucumber ready as an alternative to munch on while you cook.
- If you are preparing the food it gives you the tactical advantage of being in charge of what ends up on your plate! Take advantage by planning meals high in lean proteins, low-starch vegetables and whole grains.
- Share the load! Try to share food preparation responsibilities when you can. Cooking for the masses can be stressful, so try to distribute tasks to others and lighten your load a little.
Even the smallest of swaps to healthier alternatives will help you from feeling as stuffed as a stocking on Christmas morning this festive season! So what little changes, swaps or substitutions can you make this Christmas to make your choices a little more calorie conscious?