Eating Smart During Chinese New Year

It’s the time of the year again to feast on Chinese New Year goodies. Is it possible to indulge without piling on the pounds?

Watch what you eat

The key lies in choosing what to eat. Since festive foods are high in calories, consume them in small portions. If you know you’ll be snacking at every place you visit, take stock of how much you eat each time, and consider healthier options such as Mandarin oranges. You may even want to skip a few main meals, as the calories consumed from all that snacking will likely exceed daily requirements already.

Don’t forget that sweet drinks and alcohol are high in calories. Drink “zero-calories” drinks such as oolong tea, Ayataka green tea or water instead. Drinking water also increases the feeling of fullness and reduces binges. Continue your routine exercise during the festive season, as this will help burn the excess calories.

It’s also a good idea to choose foods with the Healthier Choice Symbol (HCS) and Healthier Snack Symbol (HSS). These products are generally lower in total fat, saturated fat, sodium and sugar, and some are higher in dietary fibre and calcium compared to similar products within the same food category.

Count your calories: It all adds up!

Assuming you require around 2,000kcal to 2,500kcal of energy daily, just five slices of bak kwa would contain half the calories you need in a day. Do also note that we should limit our daily intake of added sugar to 40g to 55g, which is the amount you find in just eight to ten love letters!

So be sure to set limits on how much to snack, because all the bites and sips will add up.


  • 57g (one slice)
  • 229kcal
  • 8g fat
  • 5g sugar


  • 45g (one packet)
  • 228kcal
  • 14g fat
  • 2g sugar


  • 26g (two pieces)
  • 112kcal
  • 1g fat
  • 9g sugar


  • 20g (one slice)
  • 46kcal
  • 1g fat
  • 7g sugar


  • 40g (two pieces)
  • 164kcal
  • 8g fat
  • 12g sugar