The official start of warm weather, cookouts and outdoor family fun is just around the corner, but things are already starting to heat up this spring!
Having the right balance of activity and healthy treats will keep your family going strong all summer long. Between ball games, carnivals and other gatherings, summer meals are filled with potential dietary disasters! So, is it possible to still eat healthy and enjoy the classic “summer foods?” Absolutely!
Check out the following “healthier twists” to popular summer classics:
- Hamburgers – When shopping for ground meat, look for beef that is 90% or more lean, this is usually right on the front of the package. You can also opt for ground turkey, but make sure the label reads ground turkey meat or breast, for the lower fat version. Other healthy options include: veggie burgers or chicken breast burgers.
- Hot Dogs-Look for a brand that is 100% beef, turkey or chicken. Hot dogs containing meat blends are typically much higher in fat and not whole meat….Gross!
- Salads-Limit the pasta and potato salads made with mayonnaise and opt for a lighter garden salad with veggies and a berry vinaigrette dressing. (check out the recipe below!)
- Sweets-It is important to remember that you can have some sweets! Too much restriction sends the wrong message. However, if you choose to eat a funnel cake at the fair, opt for a little extra physical activity that day. For More routine sweet treats, go with fresh fruit.
- Popsicles-Instead of buying the sugar filled version at the grocery store, make your own! Popsicle molds can be found at many grocery and kitchen supply stores and they are re-usable. Fill them with your favorite 100% fruit juice, OR make a fresh fruit puree in the blender, food processor or magic bullet and freeze for a simple, more natural frozen treat!
Homemade Strawberry Vinaigrette Dressing
(Makes about 1 cup of dressing)
1 1/2 Tbsp Plain Greek Yogurt
1/2 Cup of Fresh Strawberries (Stems removed and cut in half), Could also use blueberries, raspberries etc.
1 1/2 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp Olive Oil (Extra Virgin is best)
Optional: Salt and Pepper to taste
1. In a Food Processor, mix all ingredients until smooth.
2. Store in the refrigerator or cooler below 40 Degrees (F) In an air tight container for freshness.