Preparing meals for your summer party can be easy and fun if you focus on your family and friends while you are creating a healthy and active environment. Below are 10 simple tips from ChooseMyPlate.gov:
1. Make healthy habits part of the celebration. Along with the food and beverages include activities that keep people moving and enjoying one another.
2. Make foods festive. Use nuts or seeds to decorate foods and serve veggies in new shapes.
3. Offer thirst quenches that please. Make ice cubes of 100 percent juice or add slices of fruit to water. Create floats with low-fat sorbet and seltzer water.
4. Savor the flavor. Pay attention to the taste of every bite and make small changes to old recipes.
5. Use ChooseMyPlate.gov to include foods from all the food groups. For example, serve whole-grain crackers, spicy bean dip, a veggie tray and fruit kabobs.
6. Make moving part of the celebration. Dancing, moving, playing active games, wiggling and giggling add fun to any party.
7. Try a healthier recipe. Find ways to cut the sugar, salt and fat in your favorite recipes. Try the Red, White and Blue Salad below.
8. Keep it simple. Invite others to bring a dish, help clean up and keep kids active and moving.
9. Shop smart to eat smart. Save money by staying in your budget and buying in-season produce when it costs less and tastes better.
10. Be a cheerleader for healthy habits. Remember children follow the example of the adults around them.
Adopting just one of these healthy habits will move you toward a healthier lifestyle. Have a happy Fourth of July.
Nozella Brown is a Family and Consumer Sciences educator for Kansas State Research and Extension, Wyandotte County. Like the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/KSREWyco and Follow her on Twitter @WyCoSnapEd.
Red, White and Blue Salad
Makes: 2 servings
1 slice watermelon, 1-inch thick
½ cup low fat vanilla yogurt
½ cup low fat blueberry yogurt
Wash hands and cooking surfaces. Cut watermelon slice in half. Then cut half into five wedges and cut off rind. On a plate, arrange each group of five wedges into a star shape with the points out. Spoon half of each flavor yogurt in center of each star.
Nutritional information for each serving: 150 calories, 2g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 5mg cholesterol, 29g carbohydrates, >1g fiber, 28g sugars, 70mg sodium, 6g protein, 10% Vitamin A, 25% Vitamin C, 20% calcium, 2% iron.