Friday, February 12, 2010

Healthy tips for buying and preparing food for Chinese New Year

Gong Xi Fa Cai! It's time to ring in another Chinese New Year! Now that 2009 has passed, it is time to look towards the future to find good fortune that will awaits us in 2010, the year of the Tiger. A new year also encourages us to reflect on the past and to set goals for the future such as eating healthy as well as exercise to maintain a healthy life style.

An important part of the Chinese New Year is spending time with the family, visiting relatives and friends. During this time, we like to entertain friends and family by throwing parties and making festive foods. These festive foods can be high in sugar, salt or fat but low in nutrition values. To jumpstart a healthy lifestyle for the new year, here are some healthy tips for purchasing and preparing food for your Chinese New Year celebration:
· Avoid buying processed and preserved foods instead use fresh and wholesome ingredients.

· When buying pre-packaged food, check for expiration dates and make sure the package are intact. If the product is non-packaged and sold by the pound, pay attention to the hygiene of the store, if the containers are covered and whether the staff use clean utensils to handle foods. If you have doubts about the source of the product, do not buy them.

· Avoid buying traditional snacks that is sugary or fried. Try healthier alternatives snacks such as dried fruits, bake goods, and unsalted nuts.

· Use healthier cooking methods like steaming, grilling and baking. If you must fry, use healthier oils like canola and corn oil.

· Prepare food using less sugar, salt and sauces. Flavor your dish with garlic, onion, shallots and ginger. Add the sauce on the side so you can have control over how much or little you want on your dish.

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