Nutrition Tip of the Week: Lucky foods for the New Year!

It is almost the end of 2020! Phew!

Did you know that many cultures believe there foods that can bring you luck in the new year if you eat them on New Years Eve? It certainly can’t hurt to try some new foods, and many of them are healthy too!

Start with greens: The color green symbolizes luck — think about four-leaf clovers, dollar bills, and jade jewelry. As if that’s not enough, eating a plate full of greens (kale, green beans, and Brussels sprouts) will start your year off on a healthy note!

In the American South, they eat Hoppin’ John, a dish made with black-eyed peas (symbolizing coins) and rice, usually served with collards or other cooked greens (they’re the color of money) and cornbread (the color of gold).

In Spain, at the stroke of midnight, they eat one grape for every toll of the clock bell, 12 in all.

In Austria and Germany they snack on Marzipanschwein or Glücksschwein: good luck pigs made of marzipan (sweet ground almonds), and are served after a dinner of roasted pork on New Year’s Eve.

In Japanese households, families eat buckwheat soba noodles, or toshikoshi soba, at midnight on New Year’s Eve to bid farewell to the year gone by and welcome the year to come. The tradition dates back to the 17th century, and the long noodles symbolize longevity and prosperity. One catch: You can’t break the noodle on the way from your bowl to your mouth.

Long associated with abundance, pomegranates are eaten in Turkey and other Mediterranean countries as a sign of good luck. It doesn’t hurt that this pretty red-seeded fruit is in its prime in the winter January.

Thought to resemble coins, lentils are eaten throughout Italy on New Year’s Day to bring good fortune in the year ahead, usually with sausage on top.

In many coastal countries, people associate fish with the new year since fish only swim in one direction — forward. Others, however, think fish symbolize abundance because they swim in schools. You can’t go wrong with either way!

Have a Happy New Year with your family and stay safe and healthy!

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