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3 Tips to Healthier Spring and Summer Celebrations

Celebrations often are exciting and memorable times filled with family, friends, and food.
3 Tips to Healthier Spring and Summer Celebrations

Photo used under license from www.istockphoto.com

Nourish your body every time you eat, whether you are celebrating a birthday, graduation, wedding shower, holiday or every day.  Try these three tips:

1. Incorporate at least three different food groups into celebration foods.

MyPlate, the current dietary guidelines for Americans, includes five food groups: grains, vegetables, fruits, protein and dairy. When deciding on the menu, think how you can incorporate at least three of these food groups. Here are some ways to add nutrition and variety to your menu:

  • Make sandwiches with whole-grain breads or use whole-grain pasta in salads.
  • Include a colorful vegetable tray on the menu.
  • Try fruit parfaits instead of cake as a sweet treat.
  • Use lean or extra-lean beef and poultry in sandwiches and casseroles, or serve hummus (made from protein-rich chickpeas) as a tasty dip with pita chips.
  • Replace higher-fat sour cream with plain yogurt in dips.

2. Explore ingredient substitutions.

  • Trim calories and/or add fiber, vitamins and minerals with these more healthful swaps. See the NDSU Extension Service publication "Now Serving: Recipe Makeovers" for many ideas.
  • IngredientHealthier Swap
    1 cup sour cream 1 cup nonfat yogurt
    1 cup mayonnaise 1 cup nonfat yogurt
    1 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup flour plus 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
    1/2 cup oil 1/4 cup oil plus 1/4 cup applesauce

3. Make food fun.

    • Get kids (and adults) involved in food preparation. Have a food activity, such as making "bugs on a log" (celery, nut butter and raisins). Or create a picture on your plate with healthful foods.

  Celery Bugs Fruit Palm Tree

Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

Featured in Food Wise May 2016 newsletter (PDF)

 

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