Six Healthy Tips for Potlucks

November kicks off the holiday season and that means one thing: food. As we celebrate our friendships, family, and faith, we will undoubtedly be invited to at least one or more potluck dinners. Perhaps you are even planning to host a dinner of your own.

Celebrating with family and friends doesn’t have to mean throwing your diet and nutrition plans to the wind. With a little planning and some simple substitutions, you can have a potluck dinner that is both satisfying and healthy.

  • Create a menu – When hosting a dinner, don’t be afraid to ask your guests to bring specific dishes. This allows you to suggest healthy dishes such as bean salad, raw fruits and veggies, or whole wheat dinner rolls, ensuring a balance of healthy food and holiday classics.
  • Label food clearly – Ask guests to list the ingredients in each dish. This will allow you to create fun signs that give all guests a warning about hidden ingredients, sugar, and fats!
  • Create a lighter variation of a favorite – Want to enjoy macaroni and cheese without the guilt? Cook a healthier version and be the person to bring it!
  • Make food hand-held – People love to graze; put fruits or veggies on kabobs and healthy appetizers on tooth picks or in cups. Making the healthy options easy to grab will ensure these foods are eaten and make less room for the high fat and calorie-dense selections.
  • Serve flavored water – It’s easy to consume additional calories through beverages. Offer drinks that are calorie free: flavored water, iced tea, and coffee. This ensures your guests aren’t indulging on food and drink, saving them and you many unnecessary calories.
  • Put the food away – People have a tendency to eat more than they want when food is left out. If dinner is scheduled for 6:00 pm, start wrapping up the dishes at 7:30 pm. This will keep you and your guests from eating unnecessary seconds. If you don’t want to be stuck with leftovers, you can buy Tupperware and separate out doggie bags for each guest to take home.

Tags: , ,