A Wagga dietitian has encouraged residents to “give themselves permission” to eat the foods they enjoy over Christmas but believes healthy dining can remain a priority.
Wagga Wagga Health Service acting dietitian in charge Sheree Morris is conscious of the pre-Christmas stress families often suffer.
“I think heading towards December, it can be really stressful organising everything and that can often result in more takeaway foods and easy options,” she said.
“I think we’re pretty time-poor in general but sometimes if we give healthy food the priority and do some preparation at the beginning of the week, we can take out the mid-week stress and poor food choices.”
Eating habits have been in the spotlight following a NSW Council of Social Services (NCOSS) report in October that found 23 per cent of children in the Murrumbidgee-Riverina area are overweight or obese.
However, Ms Morris said it’s important to enjoy the festive season and not put excessive pressure on families to eat perfectly.
“It’s important to give yourself a licence to eat the foods you enjoy over Christmas,” she said.
Uncommon Spirits founder and dietitian Diane Wintle wholeheartedly agrees.
“It’s only a couple of days anyhow and New Year’s is a good time for resolutions,” she said.
“Make a pre-commitment and then have a few good days of celebration.”
Excessive eating should be anticipated but Ms Wintle is a firm believer in self-mediation.
“It’s likely people will have more than they usually do but most people know what they should be having,”
“Just have fun and then start over in the New Year.”
Items such as salads and fresh fruit platters are also encouraged as the mercury continue to climb.
“Our Christmas is hot and summery so it’s also good to consider whether a hot heavy meal like a roast would be enjoyable,” added Ms Morris.
“We’re pretty lucky in this area that we have access to so much produce.
And a final word on gluttony...
“Just check in on yourself while you’re eating and slow down so you can enjoy every bite - it’s ok to say no if you’re feeling full!”