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Five Tips for Healthy Celebrations


Balance is everything!

Life’s celebrations are usually accompanied by special indulgences, and THAT’S OKAY!  The key is to learn how to throw a celebration such as a Friendsgiving, anniversary or birthday without going off the nutritional deep end.  This month at Dole we’re in a festive mood because we’re celebrating Mickey Mouse’s 90th Birthday as part of our ongoing partnership with Disney.   We asked Dole’s Registered Dietitian, Melanie Dwornik MA, RD, to weigh in with her tips on how to celebrate the healthy way. 

  1.  Make foods look appetizing:  Before our mouth, we eat first with our eyes. Often the difference between eating at home and dining out for a special restaurant meal is presentation.  Take the time to garnish foods, even if they’re served family style.  You can make healthy foods look more appealing by topping leafy green salads with something crunchy like sliced almonds, adding color and vibrancy to roasted chicken dishes with sliced lemons, or even sprinkling with some green onion.  At Dole we’re serving up a refreshed version of the classic Waldorf salad garnished with chopped pecans - it’s our Steamboat Willie Green Apple Waldorf. In fact, we have developed 19 new recipes and delicious takes on American classics all inspired by Mickey Mouse’s 90 years as a “True Original.”
  2. Make foods look appetizing 2.0:  Another option is to serve fruits and vegetables in a different way- think fruit served on skewers as an edible centerpiece or cut into fun shapes like stars.  You could even take your crudité up a notch by serving it in the shape of a seasonal icon like a turkey, evergreen tree or snowflake. 
  3. Offer thirst quenchers that satisfy:  Usually festive drinks are laden with added sugars, and leave us feeling thirsty.  Offer your guests drinks that minimize sweetness overload by making a pitcher of 1/3 100% fruit juice cut with 2/3 club soda, garnished with frozen fruits such as cherries and pineapple. Frozen grapes can easily replace ice cubes to chill your drinks without watering them down. You could also offer something vegetable forward and savory like our Spicy Mary or a herbed unsweet tea with lemon!
  4. Be selective:  Choose to indulge in foods that you really enjoy.  If your aunt makes a cheesecake that you look forward to all year- have it! If mom’s cupcakes with chocolate icing and sprinkles make your birthday extra special – enjoy one!  Or if our celebratory Coco Nana Birthday Cupcakes caught your eye, it’s okay to indulge once in a while, just remember that these are special occasion foods.  Balance the rest of your celebratory meal with fruit and vegetable forward dishes to help off-set calorie intake.
  5. Take the focus off food:  If you’re hosting a gathering, offer an activity that can help move guests away from the buffet table.  It could be anything from carving traditional jack-o-lanterns or making pineapple lanterns, getting their portrait done with a cartoonist, or providing a magic show (for the kids of course!).
Published November 1, 2018

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