Picture: Instagram (100ita)
With the start of summer holidays just around the corner, South Africans are looking forward to spending lots of quality time with family and friends. Whether it’s entertaining or restaurant dining, shared time often includes meals and snacking and it’s when our usual eating habits are forgotten. However it is possible to strike a balance between enjoying the occasions and not overindulging on the festive spreads that end of year celebrations always bring.
 
To help you enjoy the best of both worlds this December, Naazneen Sali-Ameen, Nutrition, Health and Wellness manager at Nestlé South Africa shares her top five substitutes for common menu items.
 
Pizza:
More: thin base, vegetables (peppers, spinach, dried tomatoes, avocado), fruits (pineapple, pears, apples), unsalted nuts, chicken.

Less: pepperoni, bacon, ham, extra cheese.
 Pasta:
More: tomato-based sauces, in-season vegetables steamed or lightly sautéed, chicken.
Less: cheese, bacon, sausage.
 
Burgers:
More: fresh vegetables (lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers), avocadoes, jalapeños, sautéed onions and mushrooms.
Less: bacon, cheese, BBQ sauce.

 Picture: Instagram (_zhanargul_bk)

Sandwiches:
More: whole-wheat breads, fresh vegetables (lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers), fresh herbs (basil), roasted peppers, avocadoes, sautéed onions and mushrooms, chicken, egg, mozzarella cheese, reduced-fat mayo.
Less: refined breads, ham, cheddar cheese, pickles, mustard.
 
Salads: 
More: fresh greens, vegetables and fruits, dried fruits (raisins and cherries), unsalted nuts
Less: salty nuts or seeds, dressings on the salad (rather order on the side).
Picture: Instagram (raxelflores)
Lastly, if you are planning to have a high energy meal such as pizza or pasta, try and limit yourself by starting your meal off with a fresh salad or some delicious veggies before tucking in. Always keep in mind that at every meal, your plate should be half filled with vegetables or salads, a quarter with starch (the size of your fist) and another quarter with protein (the size of your palm) such as lean meat or beans.