12 Days of Christmas Food & Healthy Eating

12 Days of Eating Healthy over Christmas

It’s Christmas & Christmas quite often means food! Lots of food! How do we stay healthy and not regret eating too much food at Christmas?!

We may plan to try and stick to a healthy balanced diet everyday, but at Christmas this can sometimes be challenging.

Here’s a reminder of the 5 recommended food groups to try and keep in our healthy daily eating regime.

The healthy 5 food groups:
  • Vegetables and legumes & beans
  • Fruit
  • Grains and cereals
  • Lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts, seeds
  • milk, cheese, yoghurt or alternatives
  • When it comes to eating healthy it's important to remember, each food group has important nutrients. However, your diet may vary depending on your personal situation, for example, if you're pregnant, breastfeeding, what age you are from - infancy to adulthood, your weight, any personal medical conditions, and so on. We always highly recommend speaking to your doctor, and or your clinical adviser.

    The following guidelines are from healthdirect balanced-diet - which is an Australian government funded service:

    Vegetables and legumes (beans and peas)

    Vegetables and legumes have hundreds of natural nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibre.

    To get the most from this group:

    • choose vegetables and legumes in season
    • look for different colours:
      • greens like beans, peas and broccoli
      • red, orange or yellow vegetables like capsicums, tomatoes, carrots, sweet potato and pumpkin
      • purple vegetables like red cabbage and eggplant
      • white vegetables like cauliflower, mushrooms and potatoes

      One serve is ½ cup cooked or 1 cup raw.

      The good thing is, you can include vegetables at lunch and dinner, like salads, raw veggies or soups. To help you with any extra cravings, you can also snack on cherry tomatoes, snow peas, green beans, red capsicum, celery or carrot sticks, and have them with a hummus dip if you like as well.


      Fresh fruit is a good source of vitamins and dietary fibre. It’s best to eat fresh fruit.

        Fruit juices are still not recommended to have in large amounts at all. Quite often, commercially purchased juices are full of sugar.  So, if you want to have fruit juices, it's recommended to only do so sparingly. Half a cup is more than enough. Not only do fruit juices lack fibre,  they’re actually not filling. The acidity in fruit juices can also damage tooth enamel. Please remember: commercial fruit juices are often high in sugars.

        Also note that dried fruit also has a high sugar content and is therefore only suitable as an occasional extra.

        Grains and cereal foods

        Grain foods include rolled oats, brown rice, wholemeal and wholegrain breads, cracked wheat, barley, buckwheat and breakfast cereals like muesli.

        Whole grains have protein, dietary fibre, minerals and vitamins. In processed grains, some of these nutrients are lost.

        A serve is equivalent to:

        • 1 slice of bread, or
        • ½ cup cooked rice, oats, pasta or other grain, or 3 rye crispbread, or
        • 30g of breakfast cereal (⅔ cup flakes or ¼ cup muesli)

        Lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, legumes (beans) tofu, nuts and seeds

        These foods provide protein, minerals and vitamins. Legumes, nuts and seeds also have dietary fibre. It’s good to choose a variety of foods from this group.

        A serve is 65g cooked red meat, or 80g poultry, or 100g fish, or 2 eggs, or 1 cup legumes, or 170g tofu, or 30g nuts, seeds or pastes (peanut butter or tahini).

        The recommendation is to not have more than 7 serves of lean red meat a week. Always remember, that if you are eating meat, it should always be as lean as possible. Avoid fatty meat and especially commercially processed meats!

        Milk, cheeses, yoghurts

        Milk gives you protein, vitamins and calcium. Soy drinks with added calcium can be used as a milk substitute for children over 1.

        Some nut or oat milks have added calcium but they lack vitamin B12 and enough protein. Check your child’s total diet with a doctor or qualified dietician before using them.

        Children should have full-cream milk until age 2. Reduced-fat varieties may be suitable after that.

        Read more on Pregnancy, Birth and Baby on introducing allergy foods to babies and children.

          A serve is 1 cup of milk, or 2 slices of cheese, or 200g yoghurt.

          If you use plant-based alternatives to milk, like soy milk, check that they have at least 100mg calcium per 100 mL.


          Apart from milk, the ideal drink for children is tap water.

          Information regarding foods which are not included in the 5 healthy eating and balanced diet food groups, are referred to as discretionary foods choices can be read more here as well.

          For more information please read here:




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          Disclaimer: No content on this website, or in this article, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.


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