Fall is in the air! That means it's time to get together and enjoy warm comfort foods. We're talking about casseroles, squash soups, pumpkin pies, ciders and seasonal brews and wines. Despite all the good eats, it's still worthwhile to consider your goals and overall nutrition. Here are five quick tips for social gatherings this season.
Tip 1 | Contribute a Healthful Dish
Start by contributing a dish whether it's an appetizer or dessert. When it comes to appetizers, try using in-season produce such as carrots, celery, broccoli, and cauliflower. If interested in bringing a dessert, then create something with healthful substitutions or try creating bite-size versions. Great in-season produce for desserts may include sweet potatoes, pumpkins, apples and pears.
Tip 2 | Eat Before You Go
We often tend to go overboard at social gatherings because of the many anticipated appetizing foods to be presented. Instead, think about eating a quick protein-rich plus carbohydrate snack before you head out. Aim to keep the portion sizes small so you can still respectfully embrace what's to come.
Tip 3 | Be Mindful During Appetizers
Social gatherings often start with light appetizers, which means a combination of socializing and grazing. However, we tend to get caught up in conversation and while doing so we might be eating mindlessly. Instead, consider taking the conversation away from the table of tempting foods.
Tip 4 | Take a Good Look at Your Plate
If your plate tends to be monochromatic, then amplify it was a palette of bright colors from fruits and vegetables. If the portions are too large, then consider using smaller dinnerware. If your plate is heavy on grains, then think about how you better balance it by adding fruits, vegetables, protein and/or dairy.
Tip 5| Consider Food to Go
Social gatherings typically mean an abundance of food from start to finish. In turn, we may overindulge with efforts to try a bit of everything. Consequently, we may leave feeling overstuffed and a guilty. Instead, consider taking foods to go. The host will appreciate that you enjoyed the food, and you'll have something for later. Win win.
In all, Fall is incredible time to enjoy good company as well as good food. Enjoy those fancy charcuterie boards and sweet pumpkin pies but remember to be mindful. There are many things you can do from a nutritional standpoint from the moment you walk in to the moment you walk out. We'd love to hear from you! What are your top nutritional tips and tricks for social gatherings?