Summer is filled with fun events. Everything from graduation parties, to Fourth of July picnics, to good old-fashioned backyard barbeques – it’s likely that you already have several events you’ll be celebrating the summer season. With a little preplanning, these social gatherings can offer not only great company and fun, but a menu that is nutritious and delicious.
To help you stay on track with healthy eating while still enjoying the celebration, take a look at some of the best foods choices, and those you should be wary of.
Keep Portions in Perspective
Portion size counts, even if you are selecting healthy choices. While the goal is to fill your plate with the best food choices available at any barbeque, you don’t want to sabotage your health efforts by eating too much.
School lunch is an excellent time to refuel your child’s energy as well as help boost concentration and memory for the afternoon. The trick is providing a lunch that packs a nutritional punch and appeals to your child. Live Light Live Right nutritionist Judy Marshel shared her tips with us.
The ideal lunch contains 1/4 lean protein, 1/4 whole grain, 1/4 vegetable, 1/4 fruit and a serving of low-fat dairy. Continue reading →
It’s true, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In fact, eating breakfast instead of skipping it can actually help you lose weight. Why?
Well, when you sleep for a full night, your body hasn’t had any calories in 8 or 10 hours, so it’s like a car running on fumes. It needs fuel to get going. (That’s why it’s called breakfast as in, you are breaking a fast.)
If you eat when you wake up, it helps fire up your metablism, allowing your body to burn more energy. Eating breakfast helps you from getting too hungry and overeating later in the day.
If you’re not a breakfast fan, try some of these healthy breakfast ideas:
Fresh fruit with low-fat or non-fat yogurt
Unsweetened cereal or oatmeal with low fat or fat free milk
Mac n’ Cheese is always a dinnertime winner. But, it’s often heavy on the fat and thin on the nutrition. This recipe cuts down on the fat, so your kids will get all the tasty mac n’cheese they love while making healthier choices.
10 servings, about ½ c each; | Total Time: 50 minutes
2 cups elbow macaroni (whole wheat)
1/2 cup egg substitute
1 teaspoon no-salt seasoning mix
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup light or reduced fat cheddar cheese (about 4 oz/cup)
1 cup shredded light or reduced fat American cheese
3 teaspoons light margarine (made from liquid vegetable oil)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
4 cups skim milk
1 teaspoon salt substitute
Bring 1/2 gallon water to a boil, Add macaroni noodles and stir. As soon as the water comes to a rapid boil, cook for another 3-5 minutes until tender. Turn off heat, drain noodles and immediately rinse with cold water to cool the noodles. Drain and set aside.
Combine egg substitute with the milk, then add all seasonings. Mix well.
Mix all cheeses and margarine with the macaroni.
Spray a four-quart casserole dish with vegetable spray.
Pour macaroni-cheese mixture in the prepared casserole dish. Pour the egg-milk mixture over the macaroni.
Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30-40 minutes or until bubbly.
Cornbread is a great side with everything from chili to eggs to bbq chicken. Although it’s often made with heavy, fatty ingredients, you’ll never miss them with this tasty recipe. It’s a traditional cornbread that is made without flour, it isn’t sweet and it has a crumbly texture. If you’re looking for a more muffin-like texture, substitute flour for half of the cornmeal.
8 servings | Total Time: 30 minutes
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 cups yellow or white cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups nonfat milk or nonfat buttermilk
Preheat oven to 450°F. Place oil in a 9-inch cast-iron skillet or similar-size glass baking dish and transfer to the preheating oven.
Mix cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add egg and milk (or buttermilk); stir until just combined.
Remove the pan from the oven and swirl the oil to coat the bottom and a little way up the sides.
Very carefully pour the excess hot oil into the cornmeal mixture; stir until just combined.
Pour the batter into the hot pan.
Bake until the bread is firm in the middle and lightly golden, about 20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve warm.
Tips & Notes Make Ahead Tip: The cornbread can be made up to 3 hours in advance. Reheat, wrapped in foil, in a warm oven.
Who loves cheese grits? We do! They’re delicious and creamy and, if prepared with low-fat, nutritious ingredients, can be a wonderful, healthy meal. We found this terrific cheese grits recipe. Make it with the kids, you’ll be surprised by how quickly it’s gone!
2 servings, about 1 cup each | Total Time: 20 minutes
1 cup nonfat or low-fat milk
1 cup water
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup quick grits
1/4 cup grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese (light, reduced fat or low fat) , divided
Combine milk, water and salt in a saucepan over medium heat; heat until almost boiling.
Reduce the heat to low, whisk in grits and cook, whisking constantly, until they start to thicken, 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in 2 tablespoons cheese.
Cover and let stand until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the grits are creamy, 2 to 3 minutes.
Divide between 2 bowls, sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of cheese and serve.
Try using regular grits rather than instant grits, as they are more nutritious. This would require about 20 minutes of cooking as compared to 2-3 minutes.