Memorial Day is only a few days away. Like most holidays, it is a time when most of us get together with friends and family for celebrations that usually involve lots of food, over indulgence and high calorie consumption. But your holiday parties don’t have to be about overloading your body with high amounts of sugar and fat by overeating poor quality foods. There are many ways that we can include healthy eating into our patriotic parties and still feel satisfied.
1. Eat Your Veggies First
When planning your menu, include healthy, vegetable dominant dishes for your appetizers and first course entrees. Vegetable platters, salads, cucumber roll-ups or stuffed peppers and tomatoes are some of the delicious vegetable dominant dishes that you can serve your guests so that they can fill up on healthy foods first.
2. Drink Lots Of Water
Water is an essential part of our daily diet that we often don’t consume enough of. When people are dehydrated, they often feel hungry when they are actually not. People often misinterpret this sensation as needing food and grab whatever is on hand. By consuming plenty of water, you will feel less hungry and in turn, eat less.
3. Plan A Healthy Menu
While many people have traditional or favorite dishes that they love to serve during their Memorial Day festivities, a planned menu can also include many healthy dishes such as corn-on-the-cob, vegetable and meat kabobs, stuffed baked potatoes and chili. Preplanning your menu to include healthy dishes will ensure that you have plenty of good dietary options to choose from.
4. Do Your Own Cooking
As a society, we are very dependent on processed, prepackaged foods. Rather than cooking our own meals, it’s become much easier and more convenient to buy packaged foods and serve them instead of making our own dinners. But when you eat prepackaged foods, you have no control over the amount of sodium, sugar, fats or any other chemicals that sabotage our diets. By preparing your own meals, you have more control over what goes into each dish. It’s easier to substitute unhealthy ingredients such as refined sugar with healthier options such as Stevia, a ripe banana or pureed apples. Asking your guests to bring a home cooked dish will reduce the amount of work you have to do but it will also ensure that what you and your guests are eating healthier selections.
5. Use Smaller Plates
Our eyes are always bigger than our stomach. People tend to fill up their plates which means that they will take more food when their plates are bigger. By using smaller plates, you and your guests will take less food. Smaller plates naturally reduce our portion sizes.
Memorial Day is a time for friends and family to come together to honor and celebrate our war heroes. While there will be an abundance of food at your gathering, properly planning and preparing your meal will help keep your feast mouth watering and healthy.