Posts Tagged ‘parties’

We are now halfway through the year and summer is in full swing.  Looking at the calendar reminds us that there are still many celebrations and gatherings to come.  We also know that when people get together, food is almost always at the center of the event.h

The United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) has ten great tips to remind us to make healthy choices and use MyPlate while enjoying time with our friends and family.  When we take time to plan a menu, it does not take many more minutes or cost much more money to also plan some fun physical activity options as well.

Just as the appearance of food on our table makes a big difference in how we appreciate the meal, time spent in making the atmosphere colorful, engaging and fun can make an event much more enjoyable.

Many times we think the cake is the center of a birthday party, but a theme emphasizing what the guests will do, may be even more memorable.  An obstacle course for kids and adults alike will bring about smiles and laughter for all ages.

Providing sparkling water with a variety of fresh fruit add-ins or a pick your own fruit smoothie bar, will allow great taste-testing without complaints that there is no soda to be found.  Click here for a great recipe.  Healthy alternatives can be even more flavorful and fun if we make it a priority to plan ahead and focus on good health for the fun of it.

Check out USDA’s 10 Tips to Make Celebrations Fun, Healthy and Active, and then click on the link below to see the entire factsheet with added tips and ideas.  Enjoy the rest of your summer!

  1. Make healthy habits part of your celebrations.
  2. Make foods look festive.
  3. Offer thirst quenches that please.
  4. Savor the flavor.
  5. Use ChooseMyPlate.gov to include foods from the food groups for your party.
  6. Make moving part of every event.
  7. Try out some healthier recipes.
  8. Keep it simple.
  9. Shop smart to eat smart.
  10. Be a cheerleader for healthy habits.

Source:  United States Department of Agriculture (2012). 10 Tips Nutrition Education Series, Make celebrations fun, healthy & active:  10 tips to creating healthy, active events.  http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/downloads/TenTips/DGTipsheet20MakeCelebrations.pdf

Written by: Cheryl Barber Spires, R.D., L.D.  Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Fulton County, spires.53@osu.edu

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It is time for Memorial Day picnics, graduation parties and summertime.   Most of us have familiar recipes that we fix for these occassions.  Now is a good time to try a new healthy recipe for your special occassion.

A fresh fruit bowl is easy to fix and loved by many.  Select fruits that are in season and make sure you have a variety of colors to make your beautiful fruit bowl.  Garnish with fresh herbs such as mint or lavendar.   fresh_fruit_salad-1.jpg image by Tiara_PerkinsVisit your local farmer’s market for berries or other fruits that are grown in your area.  If adding apples or bananas to your mix, dip in orange juice to keep them from turning brown.

Appetizers and dips are favorites for these special occassions.   Remember to keep your dips refrigerated until serving time.  Allow at least an hour or two for the flavors to blend.   Place your dip in a small bowl and nestle it in a slightly larger bowl of ice to keep it cold.  Vegetables such as carrots, celery, cucumbers, zucchini and whole grain crackers are great dippers for this dill dip.

Creamy Dill Dip

Serving Size: 2 Tablespoons
Yield: 16 servings

1 cup sour cream, nonfat
1 cup yogurt, nonfat plain
2 Tablespoons dried dill


1. Put the sour cream, yogurt, and dill in a medium bowl. Stir together.

2. Store the dip in a covered container if you don’t plan to eat it right away.

3. Keep the dip in the fridge until you serve it.

Notes: Serve with cucumber slices. If you want a creamy salad dressing, add a few tablespoons of water to the dip.

The Pennsylvania Nutrition Education Program
Pennsylvania Nutrition Education Program, available at SNAP-ED Connection Recipe Finder.  www.recipefinder.nal.usda.gov

Try the Fiesta Hummus Dip for your next picnic or party.  Have fun with your summertime parties and try a new recipe!

Fiesta Hummus

Yield: 6 servings

Serving Size: 1/4 cup

Calories 120

Total Fat 3 g

Sodium 330 mg

Total Carbohydrate 18 g

Dietary Fiber 3 g

Sugars 2 g

Protein 5 g

Ingredients:1 can garbanzo beans
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
dash cayenne pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup plain, non-fat yogurt
1 Tablespoon lime juice
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
1-2 finely chopped jalapeno peppers
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro

1. Drain and mash garbanzo beans in blender, food processor or
with fork. Add remaining ingredients.2. Blend until smooth. Chill one hour or overnight. Serve on crackers or tortilla chips. Promptly refrigerate leftovers.

Oregon State University

Available at SNAP-ED Connection Recipe Finder.  www.recipefinder.nal.usda.gov

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