Can't resist those pineapple tarts? Read this smart snacking guide first

When counting calories, Chinese New Year treats are the Crouching Tigers, Hidden Dragons of snack foods.

A single pineapple tart, for example, has 93 calories, which would take a 10-minute walk up the stairs to burn off.

Still, with some careful planning, it is possible to indulge without bingeing.

Here are eight tips on how to snack responsibly.

1. Do not go visiting on an empty stomach. Eat a proper meal before visiting to prevent the munchies from attacking.

2. Prioritise your favourite snacks and stick to eating only the top three, rather than trying every snack served.

3. Select your treats and put them in a small bowl and eat only those. Do not refill.

4. Savour every mouthful by chewing slowly.

5. Plan to visit houses in the same area on the same day and try to walk from place to place to burn some calories.

6. Opt for healthier snacks such as Mandarin oranges. If you must snack on high-calorie items, choose those without nuts, chocolate or other extra toppings.

7. Watch out for empty calories in sugar-laden soft drinks. Choose water or sugar-free tea instead.

8. Remember to socialise. Stay away from the food tables and focus your energy on catching up with your loved ones.

•Sources: Ms Angena Teo, senior dietitian of Dietetic & Food Services at Changi General Hospital; Ms Bibi Chia, principal dietitian at Raffles Diabetes & Endocrine Centre.


Count your calories

Melon seeds

One handful (30g): 167 calories,14.2g fat

Bak kwa

One slice (75g): 301 calories, 10.3g fat

Love letter

1 roll (13g): 56 calories,1.5g fat

Pineapple tart

One piece (20g): 93 calories,3.6g fat

Kueh bangkit

One piece (4g): 15 calories, 0.4g fat

Mandarin orange

One whole (120g): 39 calories,0.3g fat

Kueh lapis

One slice (48g): 237 calories, 18.4g fat

Prawn roll

One piece (4.5g): 23 calories,1.4g fat

Nian gao

One slice (55g): 127 calories, 0.27g fat

Prawn keropok

One piece (7g): 30 calories, 0.7g fat

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 31, 2016, with the headline 'Smart snacking Count your calories'. Print Edition | Subscribe