During the holidays it can be hard to manage what we eat and how much we eat. The best way to keep control is to plan your own party. You can incorporate foods you can eat and that are healthy. You can avoid offering the wrong kind of sweets and you can make sure there are plenty of healthy choices of delicious foods and drinks offered in right-sized servings.
So where does one start when getting organized for a Healthy Lifestyle party? First things first-- it all starts with the menu. It is key that you pre-plan the menu and the preparation of the food. There are many dishes that can be made ahead of your party day. By thinking through the foods and dishes you choose you can make sure they are healthy choices and that they can all be prepared in time for the first doorbell ring.
In choosing recipes for your menu, include items that are healthy, filling and can provide a balanced meal. Even if you set up your party more like a cocktail buffet, choose foods that allow people to "make a meal". It will help everyone feel satisfied and not over eat.
Make sure to keep it simple. Pick recipes that have no more than 10 ingredients and do not have complicated instructions. In fact, make sure you include tried and true dishes you already know how to make. Next make sure to plan out the cooking so you can prepare most items ahead of time, not just the day of your party. With desserts you can make them way ahead and freeze them to make sure to get all the cooking done in a manageable fashion.
Choose foods that are visually appealing. Picking colorful dishes can do this. Also think about visual variety so each dish does not end up looking the same. Then you can enhance overall visual appeal through the presentation of each dish, which can be as easy as adding parsley and cleaning the sides of the bowl or platter before serving so it doesn't look "messy" to the eye of your guests.
Right-size your portions. Think about foods that can be served up as individual servings which includes muffins, cookies, Bibb lettuce filled with a serving size of pasta or any variety of salads and grains; also easy is serving up dips with sliced vegetables in a rainbow of colors. These are all simple self-serve options that have been pre-served or cut into measured out portions.
Keep drink choices simple too. Get in the habit of always offering a low calorie, non-alcoholic choice, even mentioning it first. This can be as easy as sparkling water infused with cucumber or lemon. Garnish sparkling or tab water with a sprig of fresh mint. It smells wonderful, adds a fresh hint of mint to the drink and looks so inviting. And you can't beat how easy it is to do.
Keep it simple and colorful, with an attractive table setting and you can't go wrong.