As we near the end of the year, we start to enter party season! If you have been busy working on a healthy routine all year long and don’t want to undo any of your hard work, here are some ways to host a healthy party!
The most exciting aspect of hosting a healthy party is how creative you can be with food. Creative food is fun and helps create excitement amongst guests. Here are some tips on how to select a healthy menu:
- Go for colour – the saying ‘we eat with our eyes first’ couldn’t be truer. Dress dishes with fresh herbs; serve vibrant dips such as beetroot or pea and avocado and incorporate colourful vegetables into meals such as red cabbage, tomato, spinach, carrot and sweet potato.
- Welcome guests with grazing platters, this will help tie over appetite until a more substantial meal is served. Nibbles are traditionally believed to be unhealthy, however, this need not be the case. Choose fresh options such as vegetable based dips and crudités, fresh rice paper rolls, marinated BBQ haloumi skewers and grilled veg such as eggplant, asparagus, capsicum and zucchini.
- Think about what’s in season and base your menu around seasonal ingredients. After all, we are spoilt for choice during spring and summer in Australia.
- If you have a number of guests with specific dietary preferences, serve a share style meal. For example, have proteins including dairy on the side and allow guests to put together their own meals.
- Keep dessert light, with the high temps of spring/summer and amazing fruit selection available to us, go for fruit based desserts such as pan-fried peaches with sorbet or poached pears with vanilla bean yoghurt.
Hosting a healthy party doesn’t just mean serving healthy food, it also means avoiding being overwhelmed by stress. Here are some tips to keep calm during party season:
- Plan ahead! Having a to do list and plan in place will help cut down stress as you do not have to constantly rely on your own memory. A plan can include ingredient lists, recipes, time lines and reminders, such as putting the drinks in the fridge.
- Opt for dishes you know you can prep well ahead, this will cut down with any last minute chaos in the kitchen and give you more time to socialise.
- Party with flexibility in mind, if something doesn’t turn out as planned, avoid feeling defeated and adapt your initial idea to make the best of the situation.
- Assemble a team, don’t feel guilt for asking for help, its only human and will make the party more enjoyable for everyone!
We often assume a huge focus for many at parties is alcohol. However, this is not the case for everyone and offering some non-alcoholic options is a great way to support health. Non-alcoholic drinks can be enjoyed instead of alcoholic drinks or in-between to lessen the effects of alcohol. Some enticing options include:
- Mocktails using kombucha, fresh mint and fruit
- Sparkling coconut water with fresh lemon
- Soda water with sliced fruit added
- A variety of kombucha flavours
If you want to learn how to make permanent changes to your health and develop a healthy relationship with food try Zoe’s Falling in Love with Food book and re-ignite your passion for healthy eating.