Lucky Foods for a Lucky Year (PLUS 3 to Skip!)

Lucky Foods
December 2017 | , ,

New Years Eve is almost here!  As we prepare to say goodbye to the current year, don’t forget to ring in the new year with some of these lucky foods that are traditionally enjoyed among many cultures to promote prosperity, health, luck and love in the upcoming year.  And a few that are recommended to avoid.  No matter what you and your significant other have planned for the new year, aim to include one or more of these foods in your New Year’s Eve celebration.

10 Foods to Help You Get Lucky in the New Year

Enjoy these foods at midnight on New Years Eve, and set your year up for prosperity, health, luck, and of course, love.


new year


Spanish and Portuguese cultures eat 12 grapes as the clock strikes 12 for midnight.  Each grape signifies the months of the upcoming year.  For example, a sweet fourth grape means April will be a good month, while a sour second grape may be a rocky February.  Drinking champagne doesn’t count as eating grapes, so enjoy some along with your midnight toast (and kiss).

Try these lucky recipes:

Greek Yogurt Parfait with Cereal and Pan-Roasted Grapes from Amy Gorin Nutrition

Citrus Arugula Salad with Roasted Delicata, Pistachios, Grapes and Pomegranate from Katie Cavuto

Turbot with Roasted Grapes + Tips for Buying Fish from Katie Cavuto

new year

Cooked Greens

Cooked greens including cabbage, kale, collards, and chard are recommended to eat
in the new year quite simply because they look like folded dollar bills.  Eating greens is said to help to achieve prosperity in the new year.  Health and wealth – is there anything greens aren’t good for???

Try these lucky recipes:

Fusilli with Spicy Sausage and Swiss Chard from Erica Julson

Warm Kale and White Bean Salad from Lively Table

Warm Eggplant, Mushroom and Kale Salad from Lively Table

Seriously Addictive Spicy Kale and Swiss Chard Saute from Spicy RD Nutrition

new year


Both black eyed peas and lentils signify money because they look like coins when cooked.  Even though 2016 was declared The International Year of Pulses, based on the latest food trends I’ve been seeing, pulses aren’t going anywhere. In fact, they’re only getting more popular. In addition to traditional southern Hoppin’ John, there’s plenty of ways to get lucky with legumes this NYE.

Try these lucky recipes:

Hoppin’ John Patties from Marisa Moore Nutrition

Black Eyed Pea Salad from My Menu Pal

Aloo Bodi Tama from Food, Pleasure & Health

Sweet Cranberry & Apple Lentils from Amy Gorin Nutrition

Potato, Beet, and Lentil Salad from Triad to Wellness

Ginger-Thyme Lentil Pomegranate Salad from Food Crush

Spinach Lentil Quinoa Khichari from AyurNutrition

Lentil Tacos from Eat Real Live Well

Lucy’s Lentil Soup from Barbara Baron

new year


Growing up, my family always got together for ham on New Year’s Day.  So when I stopped eating pork at a young age, my family would always threaten I was destined for a year of bad luck for not eating Porky (fortunately, I make up for it with most of the other items on this list).  The reason pork is traditionally eaten is that pigs symbolize both prosperity (due to their round shape and fat content) and progress (by rooting forward with their noses before moving).

Try these lucky recipes:

Seared Pork Chops with Mustard Pan Sauce from Erica Julson

Oven Roasted Pork Shoulder from Erica Julson

Pork Loin with Braised Apples, Onions and Fennel from Lively Table

Grilled Ranch Pork Chops from Hungry Hobby

Pulled Pork Salad fom Hungry Hobby

One Pan Maple Mustard Glazed Pork Chops from Hungry Hobby

new year


What I don’t eat in pork, I make up for in fish.  Cod is the fish most consumed among many cultures due to it’s ability to be preserved back in the Middle Ages. Some have also noted the Catholic church banning red meat on high holy days contributing to fish’s popularity at holiday meals.  Fish are said to be lucky in three ways: the scales resemble coins and they travel in schools, which both represent prosperity. And because fish swim forward, they represent forward progress.

Try these lucky recipes:

Tumeric Zucchini Salmon Patties from Bucket List Tummy

Spicy Peanut Slaw With Hemp Crusted Salmon from Rachael Hartley Nutrition

Gluten-Free Tangy Mustard Horseradish Sauce for Salmon from Bonnie Taub-Dix

Asian-Inspired Barramundi from Jill Weisenberger

Fish with Lemon Mustard Caper Sauce from Jill Weisenberger

Salmon & Bok Choy Sheet Pan Dinner with Wasabi Greek Yogurt Sauce from Triad to Wellness

Foil Packet Lemon & Herb Cod from Dana White Nutrition

Spicy Southwest Sardine Bites from Nutrition Starring You

Healthy Oven Fried Haddock from Juggling with Julia

Homemade Fish Fingers from Jenna Braddock Nutrition 

Fish Tacos with Cilantro Slaw and Mango Habanero Salsa from My Cape Cod Kitchen

30-minute Fish Tacos with Lemon Avocado Cream Sauce from Milk & Honey Nutrition

new year


One of Mr E’s favorites!  Not only does it make a delicious side to go along with ham/fish and legumes, but cornbread is said to also represent prosperity in that it represents gold.  Bake some corn kernels into your cornbread to represent gold nuggets. Looking for a quick & easy Cornbread mix that’s all-natural and also gluten-free? Check out this corn bread mix from Wildtree.

Try these lucky recipes:

Buttermilk Cornbread Muffins from Erica Julson

Lightened Up Skillet Cornbread from Lively Table

Collard Green Salad with Cornbread Croutons, Beets, Black-Eyed Peas, and Buttermilk Dressing from Rachael Hartley Nutrition

Cornbread Stuffing from Hungry Hobby

Maple Cornbread Waffle BLT Sandwiches from Milk & Honey Nutrition

Honey Cornbread from Live Best

Cranberry Orange Cornbread Trifle from Live Best

Pork Corn Bread Skillet from Wildtree

new year

Long Noodles

Many years we wind up doing a Chinese feast on New Year’s Eve because it’s Mr E’s favorite and we don’t have it very often.  Since lo mein frequently makes it on to the table, we’re off to a good start.  Soba noodles are traditionally consumed in Japan at midnight on New Year’s Eve.  Their length symbolizes longevity.  It is considered bad luck to break the noodle by chewing or cutting them, so slurp away.  Likewise, spaghetti is another dish traditionally consumed for the new year.

Try these lucky recipes:

Chilled Peanut Noodle Salad with Crispy Tofu from Erica Julson

Linguini with Swiss Chard from Live Best

Pacific Fusion Lo Mein from Wildtree

Lucky Foods | New Year | Nutrition Nuptials | Mandy Enright MS RDN RYT


In college I remember spending many New Year’s Eve parties at the home of a good friend of mine from a traditional Greek family.  Every year his mom would bake a cake (called vasilopita) with a coin baked in.  Whoever got the coin was said to have good luck in the new year (and hopefully not start the year choking or cracking a tooth).  I’m still waiting to win the coin.

Try these lucky recipes:

Gluten Free Texas Sheet Cake from Milk & Honey Nutrition

Boozy Brownies with Irish Coffee Whipped Cream from Nutrition Nuptials

Holiday Spice Cake from Wildtree


new year

Ring-Shaped Food

What’s wrong with bagels and donuts?  Nothing when it comes to good luck in the new year.  Eating circular foods represents the year coming full circle.  Mr E and I will certainly be kicking the year off either with some fresh Jersey bagels (the best!) or our favorite donuts from Purple Glaze.  Remember that’s OK to enjoy all foods that you like.

PS – shameless plug for Jersey folks in Monmouth County to check out my brother’s bagel shop, Holmdel Bagels!

Try these lucky recipes:

Wild Blueberry Mini Cakes with Vanilla Icing from Amy Gorin Nutrition

Carrot Cake Donuts + Coconut Glaze from The Gourmet RD

Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Donuts from The Gourmet RD

Chocolate Glazed Mini Sweet Potato Paleo Donuts from Hungry Hobby

Wild Blueberry Mini Donuts from Hungry Hobby

Cranberry Oatmeal Donuts with Coconut Date Icing from Milk & Honey Nutrition

Foods to Skip on New Years Eve

While I am traditionally a proponent that “all foods fit”, there are a few foods that are recommended to avoid to prevent bad luck in the new year.  Enjoy any other time of the year, but eat at your own risk on New Years Eve.


As a seafood lover, it’s not often I’d recommend avoiding lobster.  But, these guys are suggested to skip on New Years Eve because they move backwards and could lead to setbacks in the upcoming year.

Chicken (and any winged bird)

These birds scratch backwards, which again can mean regret or dwelling on the past.  Likewise, eating any bird that can fly symbolizes your good luck flying away.  Probably not how you want to kick off a brand new year.

Don’t Clean Your Plate

One final superstition comes from Germany.  It is traditional to leave a little bite of each food on your plate after midnight to guarantee a stocked pantry in the New Year.  This is a great habit to kick off the New Year not only for good luck, but to get in the habit of enjoying foods in moderation while also practicing mindfulness and hunger cues.

Which of these lucky foods will you be enjoying at midnight and on New Years Day?  

Have you experienced good luck from these foods in the past?  

Sound off in the Comments below.




Images courtesy of PANPOTE, Tuomas_Lehtinen, Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee, Serge Bertasius Photography, and piyato at

DISCLAIMER: In the spirit of full disclosure, I am a representative for Wildtree.  This means I receive a commission if you decide to purchase anything from the Wildtree links provided on this site, which allows me to keep this website and blog active for you and future readers. I truly believe in Wildtree as an organization and support their mission of empowering households to create simple healthy meals. Please refer to my full Disclosure statement.

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