Healthy Family Reunion Dinner

Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival or Lunar New Year, is the most important traditional festival or Chinese people, it is also a symbol of unity, prosperity, new hope for the future of the year.

There is no better way to celebrate this festival than to be with family and have a big feast – Family Reunion Dinner. The Family Reunion Dinner is extremely important to Chinese. Children are supposed to return to their families whereas married couples will go to the male’s family home. If a family member truly can’t make it, his or her presence is usually symbolized by placing an empty seat with utensils at the banquet. To be able to sit around the table and have dinner together is a kind of happiness. 

Food is one of the things that Chinese take the most pride in. The Family Reunion Dinner will typically have enough food on the table to feed the entire village. As with almost any Chinese meal, excess food is a customary necessity. There’s no surprise to se plates on top of plates of food overflowing the dining tables. The most common auspicious food served during the Family Reunion Dinner include dumpling, chicken, pork belly, fish, prawn, oyster, fatt choy, lettuce, rice cake and more.

Some may not notice but more meats are served on a Family Reunion Dinner. One consequence of eating too much meat in a meal is that you are likely eating fewer other foods such as whole grains and vegetables. As a result, you might find yourself feeling bloated or suffering from constipation / diarrhoea due to poor digestion. However, it is still possible to enjoy delicious yet healthy reunion dinner. All you need is a little twitch in your food preparation and be more mindful in eating!

1: Do not over-prepare.

In order to be able to get the good omen of each dish, everyone is very lavish to prepare the food for the Family Reunion Dinner. Try to cut down the portion for each dish to prevent consumption and leftovers. 

2: Include vegetables in all your dishes.

Vegetables are arguably the healthiest of all the food groups. They provide great source of fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that are vital for health and maintenance of our body. Adding variety of vegetables into meat dishes not only introduces more nutrients but also make them more colourful and appetising.

3: Choose lean meat.

Opt for lean meat or skinless poultry over fatty meat and always trim off the excess fat before cooking. Excess fats are high in saturated fats that contribute to more calories, clogged arteries and heart diseases.

4: Use healthier cooking method.

Healthier cooking method include steaming, oven-baking, grilling, stewing, boiling and stir-frying with less oil. Also, reduce the amount sauces, salt and sugar used in seasoning and/or marinating. The recommended daily intake of sugar of an adult is 30g whereas salt is 5g (1 teaspoon).

5: Practice mindful eating.

Mindful eating is about being present and developing awareness around your experiences, cravings and physical cues when eating. Mindfulness takes time to practice. You may start by appreciating your food, eating slowly, listening to physical hunger cues and eating only until you’re full. 

For more health tips, contact our nutritionist at +6011 5556 2885. Have a happy family reunion! 

Jacie Chiew

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