5 healthy and lucky foods for the new year

Today’s guest blogger is Stefanie Weiner, RD, LDN, clinical dietitian, Healthy Weight Program at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Happy New Year!  We are only into the second week of 2016, but if your resolutions need a dose of good fortune and good nutrition check out this list of foods that provide both.

For centuries, cultures around the world consider certain foods good luck when eaten at the New Year.  Traditions with such staying power must have something to them.  While most of these foods symbolize prosperity, wealth and financial reward, they also deliver a nutritious bang for their buck.


Collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, chard, kale, and cabbage are popular for the New Year because they are flat and green just like dollar bills.  Make a big batch and cash in on their calcium and vitamin K. Check out this recipe that featured collard greens that ran in Healthy Kids last week.

Black-eyed Peas

During the Civil War, Union troops surrounded Vicksburg, Mississippi cutting off supply lines to the town.  Facing starvation, townspeople discovered that black-eyed peas (or “cow peas” since they were primarily used for cattle feed) were delicious when boiled with smoked pork and greens.  Since then, the fiber and protein-packed legumes are considered a good luck dish throughout the South.


High in heart-healthy omega-3 oils, fish represent abundance as they swim in large schools.  Since they only swim in a forward direction, they also represent perseverance and forward motion.

Long Noodles

In Asian cultures long noodles suggest longevity, so the longer, the better. Careful, don’t break them!  Traditionally made from whole grain buckwheat, soba noodles are a great source of fiber. 


Spaniards ring in the New Year by popping in a dozen grapes at midnight, one to predict each month in the year ahead.  Each sweet grape forecasts a sweet month, but a sour grape could mean trouble.  If the fifth grape makes you pucker up, watch out for May.