It can be difficult to stick with healthy options at this time of year, with tempting snacks on offer at parties, in the office, and at home. Stay on Santa's nice list by choosing tasty alternatives that are good for you, too.
Why are fatty, salty crisps so irresistible? As a tasty alternative, try roasted corn kernels or broad beans, or a bowl of olives for a low calorie salt hit. Popcorn is finding favour as a high fibre, wholegrain snack, but check the ingredients and nutrition information to make sure it's as good for you as it looks.
A bowl of nuts in their shells is a familiar sight in many homes over Christmas, but how many of them actually get eaten? Almonds are rich in Vitamin E, which can keep skin healthy and strengthen the immune system - great for party season. Chestnuts are low in fat and calories, whether or not you roast them by an open fire. With their slow release of energy, nuts are the perfect snack you going through a strenuous Christmas Day.
Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without something a little bit naughty. Choose dark chocolate, which contains less fat and sugar than milk chocolate, or dip fruit like strawberries or banana pieces in chocolate for a striking and luxurious treat.
Shop-bought mince pies and Christmas biscuits are often high in sugar, so why not make your own? Children love to help with mixing and cutting out, and your guests will really appreciate the extra effort.
Tangerines aren't just for stockings. A bowl of bright orange citrus fruit looks great on the table, and the smell as you peel one is pure Christmas. Dried dates, a seasonal favourite, are naturally sweet and high in fibre, and a 30g portion counts as one of your five a day. Why not make these fun banana snowmen with your children?
What you need:
- Wooden skewers
- A banana
- Box of raisins
- A carrot or an orange
- Grapes (or mini marshmallows - optional naughty extra)
Prepare (adult’s job):
- Slice banana into 1cm thick circles
- Peel and slice orange
- Cut orange slices into small triangles
- Cut top off strawberries and slice in half
- Slice grapes in half
- Slide 3 pieces of banana onto a wooden skewer
- Press raisins in to the bottom 2 pieces of banana for buttons
- Press raisins into the top piece of banana for eyes
- Press orange triangles into top piece of banana for nose
- Slide strawberry on to wooden skewer
- Slide grape on to wooden skewer (or replace with mini marshmallow for a naughty treat)
- Make them all look different and think of other healthy and tasty things that might help them come to life – it's cold out so they may need a scarf!