Making parties and events fun while eating healthy and being physically active is doable in today’s society. Focus on enjoying friends and family while eating tasty, healthy foods from all five food groups. Here are 10 tips on how to create a healthy and active party or event:
1. Make healthy habits part of your celebrations. Play fun games like sack races with children to get them active and interested in the celebration.
2. Create festive looking food. Create different shapes from vegetables and add nuts or seeds to the figures to make stick people. Add sprinkles, almonds and semi-sweet chocolate to fruit. Make the fruits and vegetables eye-catching.
3. Thirst quenchers that please. Freeze 100% juice into ice cubes or add slices of fruit to water for a different appearance. Create floats by adding a scoop of low-fat ice cream or sorbet to seltzer water.
4. Savor the flavor. Enjoy the taste of the food by eating slow and chewing food well. Add different seasonings to an old recipe to liven things up for a different taste.
5. Use ChooseMyPlate.gov to include foods from the food groups. Offer whole grain crackers or bread; serve bean dip with a veggie tray; make fruit kabobs with melons and berries; layer yogurt, fruits and oats to make a parfait and create a healthy salad using whole grains and green leafy vegetables.
6. Make moving part of every event. Physical activities such as dancing, volleyball, baseball, football, sack races or games of hide-and-seek keep everyone active and having fun.
7. Try healthier recipes. Cut back on sugar, salt and fat in your favorite recipes.
8. Keep it simple. Have family members and friends participate by contributing healthy dishes, helping with clean up and playing games with the children.
9. Shopping and eating smart. Serve foods that fit your budget and are in-season and taste good. Plan ahead before purchasing foods.
10. Be a cheerleader for healthy habits. Adults can set the best example for children to follow. Children always follow what they see adults do.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture