How to Plan the Perfect Party
By Robyn Hensley, MS RD
We get it... parties are a wonderful way to celebrate special occasions with your family and friends. But that doesn’t mean you should go crazy with an abundance of high calorie, unhealthy food and drink. Instead, simply focus on developing healthy eating habits without going overboard.
Keep in Mind: Your party eating plan should not be about extremes. Rather, it’s based on a wholesome and delicious mix of fruits, vegetables, soups, salads and lean proteins.
The result? More energy, better sleep and more enjoyment during these special occasions... things that you will appreciate before and after your party.
One way to maintain control is to be the host. Hosting a party is a great way to celebrate and share your new, healthy outlook on life with family and friends. Don’t let your dietary restrictions after significant weight loss hold you back from enjoying these occasions. With the right approach, you can prepare a healthy spread that meets your needs and delights every guest.
Getting Started: When planning your party, you will need to decide what kind of menu to offer. The focus of the party should not be only on the food. Of course most guests will expect something to eat and drink, but you can still focus on awareness. Here are a few ideas for menu planning that won’t thwart your weight:
- Avoid placing empty calorie snack foods, such as potato chips or snack mixes, around the room. These foods encourage unnecessary mindless eating.
- If you plan on having a buffet table, have lots of fresh ingredients, such as fruits and vegetables, and lean proteins such as low fat cheese cubes, hummus, or grilled chicken kabobs. If you are accustomed to serving certain dishes that are not healthy, take the time to look up healthier versions of the recipes. Your guests will never know, and you can also enjoy without the guilt!
- Hosting a pot luck? Ask your guests to bring a stack of recipe cards for their dish. The dishes may not all necessarily be healthy, but if you are able to review the ingredients on the recipe card, you will be able to make an informed decision on whether or not it is a wise choice for you to eat.
- Have guests take leftovers with them. If having the leftover party food around the house is too much of a temptation for you, then get it out of the house! Guests will be happy to take a goody bag for themselves.
Don’t forget you can have fun and stay on track if you focus on awareness and forming habits that should last long after the party is over.