Friday, Jul 29, 2016
The days are long, the temperature is hot and sometimes cooking is the last thing on your mind. But don’t let the season tempt you to abandon healthy eating.
With plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in season, there are plenty of ways to beat the summer heat and have a healthy menu for the whole family.
“There are so many great fruits and vegetables available,” Harbin Clinic Dietician Marcy Pugliese says. “Using these, taking time to plan out meals and snacks, along with some alternative cooking styles can help everyone make healthy choices this summer.”
Seasonal Summer Treats
The summer months are the perfect time to try new fruits and vegetables. Pugliese suggests seasonal vegetables and fruits such as kiwi, sweet potatoes and Georgia peaches for those delectable summer treats.
“Acorn and spaghetti squashes are thought of as winter squashes, but they are actually grown in the summer,” says Pugliese. “Rhubarb is another healthy plant that can be paired with sweet fruits like strawberries or blueberries.”
Occasionally eating sweet treats won’t hurt your diet, but Pugliese suggests looking for healthier alternatives for day-to-day eating habits.
Frozen bananas can be blended to be used as an alternative to ice cream and frozen yogurt. For a fun family activity, blend fresh fruits like strawberries and bananas, along with a liquid like pineapple juice to make healthier, homemade Popsicles.
Think Beyond The Oven
Try different cooking techniques to add variety to your healthy summer eating plan. Finding new and creative ways to cook your favorite meals can help you stick to a healthy diet.
“Grilling foods such as chicken, pineapple or bell peppers can make a delicious and healthy meal,” says Pugliese. “If you’re used to using summer squash, instead of slicing or frying it, try stuffed squash, healthy zucchini boats or veggie kabobs,” says Pugliese.
Pack For Travel
The warm summer weather draws people out of their homes and on to summer adventures. For most people, summer travelling can lead to meals at restaurants or fast-food joints.
Instead of hitting a drive-through, Pugliese suggests packing healthier snacks like cheese sticks and fresh veggies in a cooler.
“Pack some dried fruit or make homemade trail mix to provide a more healthy option to satisfy your hunger instead of resorting to unhealthy fast food,” says Pugliese.
Plan Ahead for Healthy Eating
With busy summer schedules, it’s hard to find the free time to create a healthy eating lifestyle. However, with proper planning, anyone can ensure they fit healthy choices into their diet.
“I spend a little time on Sunday afternoons planning and prepping all my meals for the week while my toddler is sleeping,” says Pugliese. “Because of these plans, I can get dinner on the table within 15 minutes every day.”
Harbin Clinic wants to make sure you and your family have a fun and healthy summer. For more information about staying healthy this summer and beyond, visit our website at www.harbinclinic.com.