Updated: 5 days ago
Julie, our registered associate nutritionist, has written a great article about the traditions associated with food and the Chinese New Year festivities.
This year the Chinese New Year is the year of the Tiger and is celebrated by over 20% of the world’s population. In China it is known as the Spring Festival as it marks the end of the cold wintery days, welcoming the warmer climate along with new beginnings. The festival is the longest holiday of the year and ends with the lantern festival on the 15th of February.
As with many cultures’ food is a great tradition, bringing friends and family together to celebrate the New Year in style. Let's take a closer look at some of the traditional dishes that are eaten during the New Year celebrations:
Fish is thought to bring about abundance in the coming year and is served whole to ensure a good start and finish to the year. Steamed fish represents a harmonious and whole family and is considered a must at the New Year celebrations, – Nutritional info – fish is a great source of protein and minerals. Oily fish such as salmon has the addition of omega 3 and vitamin D which helps to support healthy bones, teeth, and the immune system.
Green vegetables, the leaves signify longevity and long life - Nutritional info – leafy greens are a great source of vitamin A, K and C as well as fibre.
Chicken symbolises the coming together of families and serving it whole emphasises family unity - Nutritional info – a great source of protein but avoid eating the skin to reduce fat intake.
Long noodles must be served unbroken to symbolise a longer life - Nutritional info – try wholemeal varieties for extra fibre
Dumplings are made to look like Chinese ingots and legend says that the more you eat, the more money you will make in the New Year! - Nutritional info – dumplings can be steamed instead of fried to reduce fat content
Spring rolls are eaten as a snack or appetiser during the spring festival in Southern China to celebrate the coming of spring - Nutritional info – traditionally they are deep fried! Try baking them instead of frying to reduce fat content.
Would you like to join in with the festivities, and create your own delicious feast? Here are a few top tips for cooking healthy Chinese food at home:
Try a stir fry, use a small amount of oil, lean cuts of meat. A non-stick wok is a great investment! Fresh vegetables, especially leafy greens provide us with great sources of vitamins, A, K and C as well as fibre.
Why not try making your own soup, they are simple, and you can ensure that they are low in salt too. Herbs and spices are a great way of flavouring soups.
Go for wholemeal or brown rice or noodles for added fibre
Try not to overdo it on the portion sizes and be portion wise! This may help: Your balanced diet – get portion wise!
Are you interested in joining in the festivities? Why not take a look here: Here are some great simple recipes to try: Chinese New Year recipes | BBC Good Food
If you are eating out, many Chinese dishes can be high in salt, added sugar and/or saturated fat. Here are a few tips to help:
Anything battered or crispy such as sweet & sour or desserts would be deep fried.
Try steamed or boiled rice to reduce fat content.
Often sweet tasting sauces such as sweet chill contain added sugar, so try not to eat too much of these dishes.
Why not book a free 15-minute discovery call with Julie today to talk about your individual requirements? About
Julie is an Associate Registered Nutritionist and believes in providing a personalised approach to her clients to help them reach their health and lifestyle goals. Julie has experience working with clients on a one to one basis to support digestive disorders, weight management and women’s health, in addition, Julie is a qualified chef and lecturer, and is able to support clients with their culinary skills, education and training.