The whiff of Chinese New Year is beckoning! Love Letters, Bak Kwa, Pineapple Tarts, Sugee Cookies and more! Every year, we face the same dilemma – to eat or not to eat.
The hard truth is that most of the CNY goodies have little nutritional value and are chock-full of sugar and fats. But what is the festive season without these scrumptiously tempting treats? Let the team behind Superwoman.sg give you the lowdown and some helpful snacking tips!
Calorie Chart and Nutritional Content
*Values are calculated as an average from various sources.
As you can see from the rather shocking table above, we are stuffing ourselves with unnecessary calories, sugar and fats. And, we know where these extra kilos are going to pile on; our tummy, thighs, hips, and butt! Unless you have the determination to exercise and shed the excess calories, most of us will end up lamenting about it for the next few months or more.
Instead of suffering from eater’s remorse, here are some useful tried-and-tested tips on how to snack smart!
How To Snack Smart This Chinese New Year
Image courtesy of mustsharenews.com
Keep temptations at bay
It is actually easier than you think! When snacking, take a few pieces out of the box and close the lid back on. Eating straight from the box is a big mistake because the temptation of reaching for one more piece is hard to resist, especially when the cookies smell so delightful!
And the adage ‘Out of Sight, Out of Mind’ cannot be truer in this case! When your friends and relatives have left, keep the jars and tins of goodies away from plain sight. Putting them in front of the television or at the dining table will just entice you to consume more.
This is THE time to show favouritism! Prioritise your favourite CNY snacks and eat only those. Pass on the other goodies to your visiting friends. Another option is to choose your cheat days to indulge on these sweet and savoury treats, let’s say on CNY eve and every Friday. Then, stick to those cheat days and avoid the snacks on other days!
For an average woman of sedentary lifestyle, the daily calorie food intake should be between 1200 and 1500 calories a day for healthy weight management. Of course, these values will vary depending on one’s age, metabolism rate and lifestyle.
To make sure you are eating within your calore intake limit, devise meal plans that are easy to follow during the Chinese New Year period! A good start is to adapt from existing meal plans and one realistic example is HealthHub’s 7-Day Calorie Plan that is created for busy Singaporeans.
Simply swop out foods and replace them with the CNY treats that you are intending to eat. For example, trade the fried bee hoon for a wholemeal chicken sandwich and use the extra calories for a few delectable pieces of Kueh Bangkit!
Online tools such as the Healthy 365 app by Health Promotion Board and MyFitnessPal make it very convenient these days to check the calorie count of your favourite foods and track your diet. Skip the excuses and get started!
Sometimes, we finish half the container of love letters at one go before we even realise it! Most of us have experienced overeating while being distracted – such as watching Netflix, playing mahjong or catching up over gossip. Some are even guilty of eating out of boredom!
The trick is to rate your hunger and pay attention to how much you are eating.
If you are ravenous, go get a proper meal before you go visiting to reduce hunger pangs! Take nibbles instead of popping the entire pineapple tart into your mouth! Eat slowly so that your brain has time to register that you are full. Most importantly, do a self-check intermittently and ask yourself how much have you consumed so far. Be present in the moment!
Healthier Options for CNY Goodies
That being said, we totally understand times when we cave into our cravings and just eat. How can one resist the lure of buttery pineapple tarts, crunchy peanut cookies, smoky-savoury Bak Kwa and others?!
Fret not! The simple solution is to replace the traditional Chinese New Year snacks with healthier, more wholesome alternatives. We have sussed out a list of Healthy CNY Goodies to keep you light-hearted and light-footed!
Delcie’s Desserts and Cakes
Source: Delcie’s Desserts and Cakes
A familiar name synonymous with healthier desserts, Delcie’s has been baking guilt-free goodies since 2008. Their innovative and well-loved products are proof that healthy treats can taste as indulgent as normal unhealthy ones.
Some mouth-watering items include White Almond Cookies (Gluten Free, Vegan & Less Sugar), Mini Pineapple Tarts (Eggless & Diabetic Friendly), Vegan Coconut Love Letters and plenty more!
Where to buy: https://delcies.com/chinese-new-year/
Their noble mission to promote better snacking by delivering nutritious snacks to your doorstep cannot come at a better time. Revolutionise your Chinese New Year traditions by switching to healthy snacks!
Instead of peanuts, try Almond Longan Goji mix or Shiitake Mushroom Chips. Instead of shrimp rolls, go for their zesty Peri-peri Lime Soya Crisps. They also have Coffee Almond Crumble Bars, Butterscotch Popcorn, Mocha Almonds – the salivating list goes on!
Where to buy: https://www.boxgreen.co/shop/
Influenced by their mother’s love for baking, this humble bakery’s passion is to hand-craft and bake healthier products using organic, natural ingredients. Aren’t we happy to know that their range of baked goodness contains no additives, preservatives or artificial flavourings!
Their Chinese New Year bakes include Chrysanthemum Honey Cookies, Earl Grey Almond Cookies, Golden Butter Cake and Pineapple Tarts filled with real pineapple jam!
Where to buy: https://www.facebook.com/sistersfieldsg/
Xi Shi Bak Kwa
Source: Xi Shi Bak Kwa
Fatty and glistening with oil, you may think how can Bak Kwa be healthy? The ingenious recipe comes from Xi Shi Bak Kwa!
This special Bak Kwa is marinated with home-made Monascus rice wine and Monascus rice, also more commonly known as Red Yeast Rice. Red yeast rice reduces bad cholesterol, improves heart health and tastes so delicious. Another noteworthy healthier item is the Mushroom Chicken Bak Kwa made with fresh organic mushrooms. We say bring it on!
Where to buy: http://www.xishibakkwa.com/contact/
Sam’s Cakes & Bakes
With a food technologist baker at the helm, rest assured that their healthy bakes do not compromise on taste and quality!
The Pineapple Tarts are eggless and nut-free, the Almond Blossom Cookies are eggless and dairy-free and the Prosperity Orange Butter Cake comes in a sugar-free option for diabetics. In fact, they specialise in customising cakes that are gluten-free and sugar-free for people with dietary requirements so that everyone can revel in the Chinese New Year eating!
Where to buy: http://www.sams-cakes.com/
Remember, do not let the exquisitely-delicious Chinese New Year goodies fool you! Snack smart and choose healthier options – you will not regret it after the festive season!