Balance your festive fare with fresh fruit and vegetables

5+ A Day Berry Platter

 New Zealand’s 5+ A Day Charitable Trust is encouraging us all to include more fruit and vegetables in our celebrations leading up to Christmas to provide a balanced approach during the festive season.

Christmas is a time for celebrating and many of us tend to over indulge. 5+ A Day Trustee and Principal Scientist and Team Leader at Plant & Food Research, Dr Carolyn Lister says serving up a delicious platter of healthy, colourful fruit and vegetables is the perfect way to balance the menu.

“Fresh, healthy fruit and vegetables really are the gift of health. Packed with nutrients such as vitamin C and some of the B vitamins which help with reducing fatigue, seasonal favourites like strawberries and asparagus are ideal to share with your whanau at this time of year,” she says.

If you’re catering for a crowd at a party this month, Dr Lister suggests planning dishes packed with fresh seasonal produce.

“Platters are an easy way to entertain at this time of year and look impressive. Build a delicious and colourful platter with avocado dips, asparagus hors d’oeuvres, and red cherry tomatoes to really please and nourish a crowd,” she says.

“A simple platter like this contains a whole range of nutritional benefits from vitamin C through to folate and dietary fibre. This ensures friends and whanau will keep a little balance while celebrating.

Dr Lister also suggests that salads are another quick & easy way to include a big boost of nutrition at your upcoming event.

“Green salads can be flavoured with almost any combination of seasonal produce. My favourite festive take is adding fresh summer berries or cherries to my greens along with a big handful of fresh herbs. Adding another handful of nuts provides the healthy fats which enable our bodies to get the most out of the nutrients in the greens,”  she says.

“Creating colourful, balanced, delicious recipes that incorporate your 5+ A Day and more, really is the greatest way to show your support for the health of your friends and whanau this holiday season.”

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