Chinese New Year is one of the biggest traditional Chinese holidays

Chinese New Year is one of the biggest traditional Chinese holidays

It is an opportunity to honor family and friends and enjoy some culinary traditions. Check out these traditional Chinese dishes and why they should not be overlooked this New Year.

Lucky Tangerines

Tangerines and oranges bring wealth and good luck as the Chinese word for orange and gold sound similar, while the word for tangerine also sounds like the Chinese word for luck. Tangerines are a great, easy snack packed with potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C. Add them to a spinach salad to help increase iron absorption.

Whole Fish for a Whole New You

Eating a whole, intact fish represents a good beginning and a good end for the coming year, as the Chinese word for fish, ‘yu,’ sounds like the word for abundance. Fish bones, brains, cartilage and fat are nutritious because they contain extra-high levels of vitamin A, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc and calcium.

Very Long Noodles

Longevity noodles unsurprisingly symbolize a wish for a long life.  Their length and unsevered preparation are also symbolic of the eater’s life. Variety is key to any food group, including grains, so try a variety of long noodles such as kamut, spelt, rice or whole-wheat noodles to increase your intake of fibre and B vitamins. Add a whole fish to your next pasta dish to make the most of your Chinese New Year dinner!

The Candy Box aka The Box of Harmony

The tradition behind the candy box is that when you have a visitor you offer them a box along with your blessings. Candy represents money and the sweetness of life and is a great excuse to enjoy some guilt-free candy.

Jess Pirnak

Jess is a Registered Dietitian working in Vancouver, BC. She is registered with the College of Dietitians of British Columbia and is an active member of Dietitians of Canada. Jess graduated from the University of British Columbia's Food Nutrition and Health program, and completed her dietetic internship with Provincial Health Services Authority after finishing a Psychology degree from Simon Fraser University. Jess is passionate about education, prevention and creating a healthy community. In her spare time she updates her personal food blog where she discusses hot topics in nutrition. She loves working with kids and parents helping them create a positive relationship with food and enjoys discussing sustainable farming practices with anyone who will listen!