Healthy Christmas snacks

When it comes to snacks and treats, temptation is all around us at Christmas. Here are some healthier options.

If you're hosting...

If you’re hosting your own party, make the traditional favourites less calorie heavy with these following tips: 

  • Make open-top mince pies. Using less pastry cuts down on calories and fat. Alternatively, use filo pastry, which is thinner and lower in calories than traditional pastry. One sheet of puff pastry has 620kcal, and two sheets of filo have 80kcal. Add finely chopped apple to the mincemeat to make it fluffier and slightly lower in calories. 
  • Don’t wrap sausages in bacon or pastry. Grill, dry fry or bake them on a wire rack so that the fat drains off.
  • Don't have dips made with cream or cream cheese. Choose tomato-based dips, such as salsa, or mix some chopped herbs into low-fat yoghurt. 
  • Serve rice cakes, oatcakes or plain popcorn with drinks, instead of crisps and salted nuts. 
  • Some seasonal favourites do make healthy festive snacks. Satsumas are high in vitamin C, and roast chestnuts are low in fat.

Snack offenders

If you're at a party at a friend's house, you sometimes can’t avoid picking on nibbles. 

Below, the British Nutrition Foundation's snack swaps lists some unhealthy snacks and their healthier alternatives.

Pastry

  • Stop: mini pastry tartlet (45kcal, 3.2g fat).
  • Swap: mini filo tartlet (30kcal, 1.5g fat).

Chicken

  • Stop: breaded chicken bite (40kcal, 2g fat).
  • Swap: marinated chicken bite (29kcal, 0.8g fat).

Salmon

  • Stop: salmon and cream cheese bite (30kcal, 2.5g fat).
  • Swap: salmon sushi bite (28kcal, trace fat).

Onion bhaji

  • Stop: mini bhaji (64kcal, 2.8g fat). 
  • Swap: mini satay stick (34kcal, 1.6g fat).

Prawns

  • Stop: prawn toast (53kcal, 4.1g fat).
  • Swap: prawn wonton (35kcal, 2.3g fat).

Crisps

  • Stop: 30g handful of ready salted crisps (155kcal, 9.7g fat).
  • Swap: 30g handful of tortilla chips (147kcal, 7.3g fat).

Peanuts

  • Stop: 30g handful of salted peanuts (184kcal, 15.7g fat).
  • Swap: 30g handful of pretzels (114kcal, 0.8g fat).

Cheese straws

  • Stop: two cheese straws (100kcal, 6.4g fat).
  • Swap: one large breadstick (25kcal, 0.4g fat).

Trifle

  • Stop: 100g luxury sherry trifle (235kcal, 17.5g fat).
  • Swap: 100g satsumas in 15ml brandy (69kcal, trace fat).

Buck's fizz

  • Stop: 175ml glass of pre-mixed Buck's fizz (106kcal, 0g fat).
  • Swap: 175ml glass of white wine spritzer, with 2:1 wine and soda water (75kcal, 0g fat).

Red wine

  • Stop: 175ml glass of red wine (119kcal, 0g fat).
  • Swap: 175ml glass of mulled wine, made with 50% orange juice (111kcal, 0g fat).

Marzipan

  • Stop: one marzipan fruit (51kcal, 1.7g fat).
  • Swap: one fruit jelly (39kcal, 0g fat).

Macadamia nuts

  • Stop: 30g handful of macadamia nuts (225kcal, 23.3g fat).
  • Swap: 30g handful of almonds (184kcal, 15.3g fat).

Chocolate

  • Stop: three pieces of chocolate orange (139kcal, 7.9g fat).
  • Swap: three sticks of chocolate-covered orange peel (90kcal, 3.9g fat).

More chocolate

  • Stop: four wrapped chocolates (160kcal, 8g fat).
  • Swap: four dates (116kcal, 0g fat).

Dips

  • Stop: 2tbsp sour cream and chive dip (110kcal, 11.3g fat).
  • Swap: 2tbsp salsa (20kcal, trace fat).

All calorie amounts are approximate and depend on the brand chosen. For more information about calories and nutritional information, look at the label on the product

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Media last reviewed: 25/10/2013

Next review due: 25/10/2015

Page last reviewed: 03/12/2012

Next review due: 03/12/2014

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5 A DAY

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