Father’s day is a time to celebrate all the great fathers in our lives. Whether you celebrate by barbecuing, going out to eat in a restaurant or enjoying an active day, there are ways to keep each of these activities healthy. Keeping them healthy doesn’t mean you have to take the fun out of the celebration either. Read on for some healthy tips for this Father’s day.
Tips for a healthy barbecue include focusing on leaner meals, fresh fruits and vegetables, food safety and drinking alcohol in moderation.
Cut the Extra Fat: When barbecuing, we often don’t realize how much extra fat and cholesterol may be coming from our char-grilled meals. In order to maintain a healthy intake make sure to choose lean meats. If you prefer burgers, look on the label for ones with a lower fat to lean meat ratio, or skip the beef and opt for turkey or chicken burgers. If adding cheese to your burger, choose low fat and low sodium cheese. Buns should be whole wheat, or you could go bun-free. You could also skip the burgers altogether and grill up some turkey or chicken breasts.
Up the Fresh Fruits and Vegetables: A variety of fruit and vegetable dishes compliment grilled meals well. They can either be side dishes or desserts. Grilled asparagus or roasted corn on the grill could be yummy and are wonderfully good for you. A sweet summer fruit salad made with cut watermelon, strawberries, blueberries and grapes can delight your palate for dessert. Or, grill some pineapple!
Food Safety: Make sure to use a thermometer to ensure your meat and poultry is cooked through. Remember to keep all food covered as much as possible when left outside, and keep out of the sun. Prevent cross contamination by keeping your raw meats separate from your cooked meats, fruits and vegetables. Keep your food out of the danger zone in which pathogens thrive: keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.
Drink in Moderation: If you are going to drink alcohol, make sure not to overdo it. Drinking an 8-ounce glass of water in between each drink will also keep you hydrated and help avoid headaches or other hangover symptoms. Remember the recommendations for alcohol consumption include one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. A drink consists of 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or 1.5 ounces of liquor.
Eating out this Father’s Day? No problem!
If you choose to eat out at a restaurant, some healthy tips include, again, drinking in moderation, minding your portions and sharing dessert.
Watch Your Portion size: Restaurants have a tendency to over compensate with their portions. This huge plate of food gets placed in front of you and you feel you have to finish it. Clearing your plate in this situation only leads to a feeling of fullness and discomfort. This can be avoided by asking your server to wrap half your meal before even serving it to you at the table. This way you’ll eat less and have leftovers for later in the week.
Share Dessert: Desserts at restaurants tend to be decadent and laden with lots of sugar and fat. Make a conscious decision to either share a dessert or better yet, skip dessert and head on over to someone’s house for a healthier dessert option.
Now it’s your turn to take action: Share your thoughts on how you will enjoy your Father’s day celebrations in a fun and nutritious way.