Healthy Summer Eating
Summer is the time when we get out and about.The sun is shining, our diaries are bursting at the seams, and everywhere you turn there’s indulgent food being offered to both yourself and your children.
Here are some tips for balancing out the occasional treats with some simple, healthy snacks.
At the beach or pool
- Icy cold drinks – freeze bottles of water and 100 per cent fruit juice tetra packs
- Frozen fruits – freeze grapes and small pieces fruit as a refreshing, healthy and delicious snack
- Pack a chilly bin – fill your chilly bin with cold meat and cheese sandwiches cut up in triangles to share.
- Enjoy a treat – on special days, treat everyone to a favourite ice cream or sweet. Try to look for portion controlled and mini size ice creams, ice blocks and lollies.
On the run
- Fill zip-lock bags with grapes, rice crackers, dry cereal or unsalted nuts with dried fruit.
- Portion controlled, individual packs of low-fat cereal bars, dried fruit and nut packs, and air-popped popcorn are great to have on hand.
Barbecues and parties
- Fill the kids up with a sandwich or sushi, fruit or some nutritious snacks before you go out.
- Make sure you all stay topped up with fluids – dilute juice with sparkling mineral water or fill jugs of water with plenty of ice, some chopped lime, orange and lemon.
- Take along apple chips instead of potato chips, and popcorn.
Set The Example Of Healthy Snacking
If you’re the host, why not get creative with your entertaining and inspire your guests with some healthy snacking options. Including better choices from each of the five food groups means you are likely to include a variety of essential nutrients:
Bread and cereal
- Roll ups – spread high-fibre white bread with toppings such as avocado, vegemite or peanut butter, cut off the crusts and roll up.
- Healthy crackers – top some wholegrain crackers, rice crackers or other low-fat crackers off with hommus, low-fat dips or salsa.
- Fruit skewers – thread strawberries, melon balls, chunks of pineapple and kiwifruit onto skewers and serve with some honey yoghurt, drizzled with passionfruit pulp.
- Fruit trail mix – concoct your own mix of dried fruit – try sultanas, apricots and dates.
- Fruity ice blocks – freeze fruit juice in ice block trays.
- Offer treats with a healthy slant such as chocolate-coated fruit.
- Cold meat and cucumber wraps – wrap shaved ham or turkey around thin sticks of cucumber.
- Vegie sticks – mix reduced-fat mayo or light cream cheese with sweet chilli sauce and dip some red pepper, carrot, celery, cucumber sticks and snow peas in there. Why not add some sun dried tomatoes too?
- Experts recommend 3 serves of dairy every day, and children aged over two years can enjoy a reduced fat version instead of full fat varieties every now and then.
- Smoothies made with fresh fruit and yoghurt make a delicious afternoon snack.
- Frozen yoghurt lollipops – freeze yogurt in deep ice trays, with a popsicle stick dipped in.
- Cheese and fruit platter – mix some chunky fruit with cubes of low-fat cheese.
- Mixed nuts – a handful of unsalted cashews, almonds, pecans and hazelnuts.
- Hawaiian skewers – alternate folded up shaved ham, cherry tomatoes and chunks of pineapple on skewers.
Enjoying food with friends is as important as it is fun, and even high kilojoule treat foods have a place in a balanced diet.
The key to moderation is to offer nutrient-rich treats with energy-rich treats and ensure they are portion controlled. Festive food can be both nutritious and delicious!
For more ideas, check out tasty recipes.