I have a bugbear about Christmas at the moment and that is chocolate advent calendars. What is this obsession with chocolate or treat filled calendars? We never had these when I was a kid (showing my age there); instead we had the old fashioned card type with a picture on it with doors hidden, to reveal different Christmassy images behind.

The ultimate freefrom advent calender has no chocolates or treats at all…
The ultimate freefrom Calendar
Call me old fashioned but I don’t think we need all this chocolate.

Since attending Food Matters Live in November this year and listening to many of the panel sessions in the main conference room, the state of the nation is now very much in my mind.

It is, quite shockingly, normal to be obese in the UK – 60% of the population is overweight. This is maybe a bit off subject but I had the pleasure of reporting for Food Matters Live on about 9 of the live panel sessions which has been great fun and given me a real insight into the state of the health of the UK. It’s not nice reading but if you’re interested you can read the first of my reports here: The nutritional state of the nation; whose responsibility is it?

Reporting on the key session at Food Matters Live forced me out of my freefrom bubble into the world or nutrition, health and malnutrition. It was fantastic to see so any professionals from all industries and walks of life attending, speaking, exhibiting and with one theme in mind – health, because food matters!

And in a nation where Christmas revolves around over indulging, eating too much food and stuffing chocolates every morning, the advent calendar is just a small way I feel we could all make a difference.

Back to the subject in hand, if you do want a modern one with freefrom chocolates inside check out Foods Matters blog for a very detailed review of all the different nut, dairy and soya free advent calendars on the market: http://www.michellesblog.co.uk/freefrom-advent-calendars-2014/

Another freefrom blogger (sorry I have a lot on my mind what with being on telly and the resulting social media distraction, and have forgotten who this was, but it will come back to me) has wrapped books for each day of advent and is reading a different one each evening with the kids. A lovely idea and one not involving any chocolate! Of you can get those huge ones made of cloth with pockets which you can of course, put anything in but I rather feel this may be making a rod your own back if the kids expect this kind of organisation every year!

Could you have a chocolate free advent? That way no one misses out or has to have a special advent calendar.


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