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The ultimate survival guide to eating healthier this Chinese New Year

It hasn’t been that long after Christmas but we are once again gearing up for another season of feasting.

We’re talking about trays of yummy festive cookies and free-for-all on greasy treats like bak kwa. Don’t get us wrong, these are truly delightful ways to usher in the Year of the Ox — that is, unless you’re trying to make 2021 a health-focused year with better diet choices. 

The good news is that tasty celebration meals don’t have to be the kryptonite of healthy-eating plans. Purveyor of organic produce and groceries, Little Farms, knows a thing or two about mindful and healthy living, and is one of the best grocers in town to stock up on better alternatives this Chinese New Year. Those thinking about extending Veganuary will also find plenty of plant-based (and nutritious) goodies from any one of its four outlets in the city, making it all the more convenient to live and eat better during the festivities.

Here are some of our favourite healthier alternatives to get you through the celebratory meals without feeling the guilt.

(Featured image credit: Simone Ruth)

Turns out Asia’s first non-alcoholic aperitif will do more than get your appetite going for dinner. Inspired by traditional Asian remedies, this ABV-free libation is made with 26 botanicals that work together to detoxify the liver, increase blood flow and support general wellbeing with vitamins and antioxidants. Amongst the list of beneficial ingredients are goji berries, hibiscus, raw cacao, ginger, and fresh lemon, each cold extracted and blended for a refreshingly fruity, floral and spicy drink — sans the hangover the next day.


The ultimate Middle Eastern street food gets a superfood upgrade with a nutritious blend of fresh coriander, parsley and fenugreek, all of which are rich in immune-boosting antioxidants. These easy-to-prepare falafels will make you the perfect host without any effort at all, and are a delectable snack for vegetarians or those choosing to take the vegan route full time.


Long a staple in steamboats, tofu is a great plant source of calcium and iron, as well we plenty of minerals like manganese and phosphorous. It’s also rich in protein, but while regular ones average about 8g of protein per 100g, this version bulks in at 15.2g, making it a valuable protein source if you’re going plant-free. The Australian brand prides itself on using only non-GMO Australian-grown soybeans too, making it a healthier reunion dinner dish for everyone in the family.


Made without artificial flavours and refined sugar, this frosty treat makes for the perfect guilt-free indulgence to round off that immensely satisfying meal. This vegan ice cream packs a flavourful punch with organic Sri Lankan coconut milk and plant-based dulce de leche, before being sprinkled with roasted macadamias from Northern New South Wales. Top this off with superfood toppings like bee pollen, matcha, or roasted pistachios for an extra health boost.


Rich, salty and slightly sweet in flavour, these low carb crackers make a much better substitute for chips or worse, bak kwa. As its name suggests, the gluten-free snack is very low carb because it’s made of a gluten-free super seed blend that includes pepitas, linseeds, and chia. Coconut aminos  — a salty, savory seasoning sauce made from the fermented sap of coconut palm — has 73 percent less sodium than soy sauce, and is added to these crackers for a delectable salty-sweet kick.


At 93 calories each, pineapple tarts could wreak serious havoc on your diet plans. You could, however, still get your pineapple fix from a very different but healthier source this year. Jiva’s probiotic-rich kombuchas are made with freshly-pressed pineapple, green tea, and white tea, and are rich in antioxidants and essential amino acids that aids digestion and gut health — if you needed a little help in that department after all the festive binge-eating. 


Of course if you were looking to go all out with spreading the joy of health, only the most elaborate fruit hamper would do. The Abundance Fruit Basket is chockfull of Little Farms’ freshest imported produce — from jumbo blueberries and Australian mangoes to its signature Hass avocados — to make any party an effortless dream.

The ultimate survival guide to eating healthier this Chinese New Year

Shatricia Nair

Managing Editor

Shatricia Nair has a passion for motoring, beauty, and wellness, and is perpetually knee-deep in the world of V8s, retinols, and latest fitness trends. She has nine years of experience writing for digital media, and her bylines have appeared in Prestige, and Augustman. She'll do (almost) anything for good chocolate chip cookies.

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