Healthy Peterborough

Overindulging on the snacks

While Father Christmas may feel obliged to nibble a mince pie at every house he visits, we don’t need to do the same! Enjoy the festive treats with moderation in mind. Small swaps to snacks here and there can help keep us from over indulging.


Naughty nibbles can seemingly be everywhere this time of year. There may be healthier alternatives to some, but for others try to consider that one small serving may be enough.

Snacks and treats are usually high in sugar, fat and salt. Eating too much and too often will provide added calories which can lead to weight gain. Watch out for sugary drinks too. The more weight we gain over Christmas and the New Year the more we then have to lose to achieve a healthy weight. Having a diet high in sugar, fat and salt can affect our health in other ways too. Increasing risk of poor dental health, raised cholesterol and high blood pressure.Naughty nibbles can seemingly be everywhere this time of year. There may be healthier alternatives to some, but for others try to consider that one small serving may be enough. 

As well as making healthier food and drink choices, remember to keep active to help to burn off some of the additional calories indulged in over Christmas.

Top Treat Tips 

  • Carrots aren’t just for Rudolph, vegetable sticks are a healthy snack and count towards your 5-a-day. Serve them with a tomato based dip as a healthier alternative to cream or cream-cheese based dips.
  • Clementines, tangerines and satsumas are in-season this time of year and make for a healthy snack choice. Swap the Terry’s Chocolate Orange for one of these! Fruit salad is a colourful dish to add to the buffet table for a healthier dessert option.
  • Dried fruits can make a delicious small snack and count towards your 5-a-day too. Try dried apricots, cranberries, dates or figs.
  • ‘Chestnuts roasting on an open fire’ are a seasonal snack for this time of year. Chestnuts are the lowest in fat of all the nutsChoose unsalted nuts and know a small handful counts as one portion. It’s easy to keep dipping back in to the dish, try to take one small handful and stop there.
  • Plain popcorn is a tasty swap for crisps. Oatcakes and rice cakes are another choice.
  • Mince pies contain around 250 calories each! Look for open mince pies (no pastry lid) or mini versions for fewer calories. Think about swapping savoury snacks made with pastry as well. Instead of sausage rolls look for plain sausages and choose plain bread sticks over cheese straws.
  • Have a smaller glass or measure of alcohol and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks too. Add slices of orange, lemon or lime to water as a swap to fizzy drinks and sugary soft drinks. Or choose a glass of fruit juice for one of your 5-a-day.

 Visit NHS Choices for some simple ways to make healthier choices this Christmas time.


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Healthy Peterborough is led by:
  • Peterborough City Council
  • Peterborough Pharmacies
  • Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust