All I want is a GUILT-FREE Christmas – My realistic tips for a fuss-free festive feast
- Mums Tips
- Fitness & Health
- Published on Wednesday, 23 December 2015 12:05
- Last Updated on 21 December 2015
- Monica Costa
- 0 Comments
Let’s face it! Every year we get to Christmas Eve full of guilt for what we will be eating and drinking. I personally know that I won’t be able to escape the feasting time with my Italian family who doesn’t care about all this stay-slim fuss. This year I have decided to tackle the issue and I have gathered some information on how to have a guilt-free Christmas.
For a GUILT-FREE CHRISTMAS you need to know where the sugar is and keep it to a minimum and also recognise the fat sources. Basically have a SUGAR STRATEGY in place before starting with the feasts!
A very simple adjustment with regards to the drinking is to mix champagne, wine or spirits with soda or fresh fruit juices instead of cocktails, beers and fizzy drinks.
Alcohol raises your blood sugar very quickly, so always have a protein-rich snack before or with a drink (a couple of oatcakes with nut butter, a small pot of live natural yoghurt and a piece of fruit, a chicken leg, a cold boiled egg, some crunchy baby veg with a small pot of hummus).
It is also important to drink a large glass of water for every drink you have. A downside of alcohol is also that it increases your appetite. No need to say that it’s better to have good quality wine or champagne rather than the cheap options. Avoid cocktails because they can be dangerous and often high in sugar.
One clever tip is to always have a light snack a few hours before arriving at a party. If you starve yourself all day before a dinner or party, you will almost certainly overindulge when you see all the delicious food.
Turkey is not bad at all as the main meal for Christmas lunch, as it is rich in protein, which helps fill you up and at the same time provides lots of nutrients and vitamins. Plus turkey is low in fat and calories compared to other meats. Try to avoid too much oil when cooking.
Remember to remove the skin from the turkey before tucking into your meal.
Side dishes – If you eat lots of seasonal steamed vegetables such as red cabbage, carrots, Brussels sprouts, swede and cauliflower with the turkey, they will fill you even more and will provide lots of additional vitamins and minerals.
Use less fat to roast potatoes and parsnips. If you boil them first, then brush lightly with oil and then pop them in the oven, you should have crispy roasties with low amount of fat.
Stuffing – Make your own stuffing with chopped chestnuts rather than sausage meat.
Don’t forget that the extras such as cranberry sauce, bread pudding and white sauce add more calories and are not adding much value to the dish.
Pudding – If you can’t resist the Christmas pudding, have just a small serving. Add a sauce with less calories, for example cream or brandy butter have less calories than custard.
Simple tips for a fuss-free festive feast with children
My son is a fussy eater so for me the holiday period always brings some mealtime challenges. So I have read some tips on various sites and books from experts and I have picked those that would work for my son and my family. I hope you will find them useful and you will enjoy a GUILT-FREE Christmas.
1. Cook together
Involve your kids preparing the festive recipes. The Christmas school holidays are a great opportunity for them to be involved in being around food in a relaxed way.
If you sing and dance while you cook, you can really have a good time together.
2. Trying is fun
Praise and reward your children for enjoying the party rather than stressing them out for not eating everything. Kids are more likely to try new foods, particularly if they see other children eating them.
For a change think that the festive period is also an opportunity to slow down the daily school-work routine. Do not forget that if you have the right festive mindset you will get some relief from stress and pressure from a hectic daily life.
Be aware that as routines and boundaries change during the holidays, your child’s behaviour, including eating, may be trickier to manage. Try to stick to your regular boundaries or if this is not possible, accept that holidays are different. You will all get back on track after the holidays finish.
Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums