Summer is coming, the time for get-togethers with friends and family. Backyard barbeques, pool parties, block parties, and holidays all have one thing in common. Food will be served, and in large quantities. It can be difficult for those who have chosen healthy eating to find good options when much of the common items are not so healthy. If you are the host of such a function, why not offer alternatives in support of those who are managing their nutrition? Take a peek at our diet-friendly summer party tips.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
That vegetable tray that everyone serves is a good start. You can eliminate the cheesy, creamy dips that sometimes go with it and substitute healthier alternatives such as salsa, black bean dip, or hummus. You can also offer the more traditional dips if needed, but place them on a separate tray.
Fruits are a great choice for summer parties. What could be better on a hot day than a big slice of watermelon or fresh citrus fruits? Grapes, berries, and apples are all full of sweet, juicy goodness. Satisfy your hunger and thirst at the same time while getting good, healthy nutrition.
Healthy Can Be Savory
There is this idea that healthy means eliminating things. While there is truth to that, maybe the focus should be ADDING taste. Instead of meat covered in barbeque sauce, why not use fresh lemons, garlic cloves, or other healthy marinades to add flavor without the extra calories? Guacamole a little bland? Add some lime to spice it up. Combining unusual flavors in the right combination can turn bland into interesting.
You can also try offering dishes in courses. When you lay everything out buffet style, people tend to put more on their plates and eat faster. Taking the time to appreciate each dish makes people notice the flavors more and the pause between courses allows time to begin digestion and experience the feeling of being full more quickly.
Many summer parties are perfect fits for exercise disguised as fun. Volleyball, swimming, and various lawn games are all good fits for your soirée. These are also great ways to get rid of some of those calories you are consuming. An hour of swimming burns approximately 590 calories. An hour of volleyball? About 210 calories.
When people are playing games or participating in other fun activities, you get a twofold benefit. Not only are they going to remember your party more favorably, but the time spent playing is time NOT eating. The distraction fun provides will help cut back on the food intake. Win-win. No matter what you plan, your fun can help balance the food you serve.
When shopping for your party, remember that some of the little things like condiments have lots of sugars in them. Sauces and stir fries can be packed with sugars that can wreak havoc on your best laid dieting plans. If you’re cutting down on fat, remember lots of low fat products also pack more sugar in to make up for the taste. The best way of eating is raw. Condiments such as olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt and avocado can add some serious flavor to nearly anything.
If you’re trying to cut calories, steer clear of dressings, ketchups and barbeque sauces. Better yet, learn to make your own low sugar or sugar free barbeque sauce and keep some in the fridge. While these suggestions take a little planning, you’ll be rewarded by your efforts if you continue eating healthy and staying on track no matter the occasion.