Fun in the Sun (and Healthy Eating Too)

What's a better way to spend summer than enjoying some delicious food at an outdoor party? Making it nutritious food too! It's a hard fact to accept but the classic summer foods of hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, potato salad aren't necessarily the healthiest of foods.  That doesn't mean you can't eat them (I've never been one to turn down a slice of apple pie), it just means you should use moderation and choose healthy alternatives when you can.  When you choose healthy alternatives you can keep everything you like about your normal food while making it more nutritious.  For example, taking easy steps like reducing fat and salt in your meals by using more spices and herbs can have a huge impact on your health while not sacrificing taste.              

 What if you don't know a delicious summer menu that also includes some healthy options? Well, you're in luck because ChopChop Magazine (www.chopchopmag.org) has loads of healthy recipes that the entire family can make together! Here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling! For that classic burger that any barbeque can't be without, why not mix in some cooked quinoa to add texture and whole grains or go vegetarian by making a black bean burger. And what's a juicy burger without some classic potato chips?  Instead of potato chips try roasting some chickpeas with olive oil, salt, and whatever seasonings you enjoy. Instead of sour cream and onion dip, try making a bean dip and using whole wheat pita chips. There's loads of healthy dips to make so don't be afraid to experiment! To top off your meal, why not try a refreshing fruit spritzer made of club soda and some fresh fruit or a splash of 100% fruit juice.  It's the perfect drink to cool you off on a hot day!                                                         

When all this delicious food is made and ready to eat, it might be hard to resist the temptation to eat it all so just keep MyPlate (www.choosemyplate.gov) in mind.  MyPlate is a helpful, easy way to correctly portion food so you end up eating a well-balanced meal.  Even taking a quick glance at MyPlate graphic will help you remember how to correctly portion your protein, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and dairy.

With 4th of July around the corner, it would be a great to time test out some healthy recipes and make MyPlate your plate!

 

Happy and healthy eating!

 

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