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Organising healthy Christmas celebrations at schools

Schools are advised to take heed of the following advice when organising healthy Christmas celebrations:

  1. Traditional Festive Foods
    • Many conventional Christmas foods, such as Christmas cake and chocolate, are high in sugar and fat. While teaching children about healthy festive eating, schools should limit the supply of festive foods that are high in sugar and fat content. Teachers and parents should also explain nutritional values of these foods to children, as well as remind them of the consequence of over-eating. Also, try to provide healthier food choices, e.g. fresh fruit.

  3. Food items from Suppliers
    • Food items (including party foods) provided by lunch suppliers, tuck shops or vending machines should always comply with the nutritional recommendations contained in "Nutritional Guidelines on Lunch for Students" (Latest version) and "Nutritional Guidelines on Snacks for Students" published by the Department of Health.

  5. Tips for Bring-A-Dish Party
    • Prepare the right amount of food, and present it in smaller portion sizes

    • Use healthier cooking methods such as steaming, boiling, baking, pan-frying and quick stir-frying to reduce fat intake

    • Include grains such as penne pasta, rice sushi, bread, etc. They are rich in carbohydrates and serve as the main source of energy

    • Vegetables are nutritious and filling. Prepare dishes such as broccoli with cheese, assorted vegetables stir-fried with garlic

    • Choose lean meat, e.g. lean pork chop, chicken, diced beef, fish fillet

    • Limit processed meats and deep-fried foods, e.g. sausage, ham, luncheon meat, shrimp toast, spring roll, curry puff pastry

    • Serve water as the main drink. Small amounts of low-sugar drinks such as low-sugar soymilk and low-sugar Chinese beverages can also be prepared. Drinks containing caffeine such as coffee and tea should not be offered to children

    • Choose fresh fruits as dessert, e.g. fresh fruit skewer, mixed fruit cup

  7. Other Arrangements
    • Arrange 2 to 3 group games."Blow Wind Blow", "Collector" and "Find The Leader" are fun examples. They not only encourage physical activities among children but also shift the focus of the party from food to games

    • Avoid giving out Christmas food treats as gifts. Consider stationery items, stickers, story books and toy as gifts. Sports equipment such as football, basketball and skipping rope are brilliant ideas for exercise and fun to the older children.