Happy and Healthy Summer Celebrations

Camping, barbecues, picnics, potlucks, and al fresco dining are popular summer pastimes. We love breaking bread and enjoying sunny weather together. All too often, nutrition and food safety take a backseat to enjoying these summer celebrations. But with these tips and recipes, your family can make memories that last a lifetime while still eating smart!

four families practicing healthy habits at summer celebrations

Make a healthy family tradition this summer. You’ll teach your children a lesson that will last a lifetime.

Smart Choices at Summer Celebrations

  • You can still use MyPlate to plan a healthy summer meal. Think about ways to incorporate fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins into your family’s favorite summer meals.
  • Shift to healthier choices for the usual summer meals. Instead of hot dogs and hamburgers, try grilling chicken thighs or turkey burgers (and sub in a whole wheat bun). Swap chips for veggie sticks. Lighten up picnic classics like potato salad or coleslaw with healthier ingredients.
  • Simplify dessert. Cut up fresh seasonal fruit like watermelon or frozen grapes to satisfy your sweet tooth. Or try your hand at creating custom smoothie or popsicle recipes with your kids.
  • Drink smarter. Switch to water for your family’s beverage of choice. Jazz it up with sliced fruit or fresh herbs. Frozen fruit makes great ice to cool off plain water.

Food Safety for Summer Celebrations

  • Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Use ice packs and coolers when transporting food or camping. For a buffet, use ice to keep foods cold.
  • Chill or throw away food after 2 hours, and just 1 hour if the temperature is above 90°F.
  • Plan for how you’ll wash your hands and cooking equipment. Bring hand sanitizer or clean water and hand soap with you.
  • Keep raw meat and poultry separate from ready to eat foods. If you bring raw meat to the grill on a platter, wash it or use a different one to put the cooked meal on. Double bag raw meat with resealable, water-tight bags when using a cooler to keep meat juices (and germs) out of the other foods.
  • Don’t forget your thermometer! When cooking outdoors, you’ll still need a meat thermometer to check if your food is cooked to the safe temperature.

Bonus Tip – Make your celebrations more active. Break out the outdoor games like horseshoes, badminton, or a simply tossing around a football or baseball with your kids. Go for a hike or bike ride and check out the natural beauty of our state.

By making your summer get togethers healthier, you’ll make memories to last a lifetime AND support your family’s health and happiness. It’s a Win-Win!

One comment on “Happy and Healthy Summer Celebrations

  1. Maria Sam on

    That’s the great planning for having a nice celebration. It should be followed by all of us. Thanks for share this beautiful tips.


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