Article of the Week
Healthful and Safe Eating on Vacation
Summer vacations are a time to relax, revitalize and enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of new places. When it comes to maintaining a healthful eating plan on vacation, your family can still enjoy the new, fun and exciting foods that come with traveling without packing on the pounds. Here are a few tips to eat right while on summer vacation:
- Sample small amounts of high-calorie foods. You don’t have to avoid these foods entirely, just reduce the amount you eat to a few bites.
- Share large portions. Many restaurants serve very large portions, so don’t hesitate to split orders.
- Space meals throughout the day. It can be easy to “graze” while on vacation. Try to set meal times and stick to them.
- Engage in some type of physical activity most days. There is no better time to enjoy a walk with your family than on vacation. You see the new sights up close and keep your bodies healthy at the same time.
Taking It with You
If a road trip is part of your vacation, packing healthy foods is a great way to maintain a diet. Try these tips for healthful eating on the road:
- Pack a cooler with fresh vegetables and fruit for snacks. Stock up on cut-up broccoli florets, carrot sticks and apple and orange slices.
- For beverages, bring canned or boxed 100-percent fruit juice, canned tomato juice and bottled water.
- Bring boxes of raisins and resealable pouches of dried fruit like apricots.
- Deli sandwiches, yogurt and low-fat cheese make a great lunch.
- Get out of the car every hour or two to take a short walk and stretch your legs.
Be sure to keep your backseat treats safe with these easy tips:
- Pack easy-to-transport, shelf-stable foods. Good choices include cereal, trail mix, popcorn, single-serve applesauce, cans of tuna, peanut butter sandwiches, fresh fruit, carrots or celery.
- Don’t let food sit unrefrigerated for more than two hours, and make sure coolers remain at or below 40°F.
- In hot weather, place coolers and lunch bags in the back seat instead of the trunk. The environment tends to be cooler in the car, especially when the air conditioning is on.
- Make sure everyone in the family washes their hands with soap and water before and after eating. If you don’t have access to a restroom, pack moist towelettes or hand sanitizer.
Celebrate the Watermelon
It’s fitting to celebrate the watermelon, since no summer gathering is complete without it. In addition to being a tasty treat, watermelon is a good source of vitamins A and C and contains lycopene, fiber and potassium. It’s also more than 90 percent water, so it can help you stay hydrated on hot days too.
Try a new twist on an old favorite with these ideas:
- Caramelize watermelon slices on the grill, then drizzle with honey, lime and a pinch of salt.
- Pair with shrimp on a kabob.
- Carve out a watermelon to use as a bowl and fill with fruit salad.
- Use watermelon in place of tomatoes in a citrus salsa.
- Use its juice as a glaze on shrimp or pork.
Of course, watermelon is also a crowd-pleaser “as is.” Slice it up and you have an instant appetizer, side dish or dessert.
Recipe of the Week
Pesto Chicken Salad Pitas
This Mediterranean spin on chicken salad is bursting with fresh flavor thanks to the addition of pesto. Use chopped rotisserie chicken for a time-saving substitute, if desired, to mix up an anything-but-boring lunch in no time!
- ¼ cup low-fat mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons prepared pesto
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups chopped, cooked chicken
- ½ cup grated carrot (about 1 medium carrot)
- 4 mini whole wheat pita rounds, split
- 1 cup baby spinach leaves
- Combine mayonnaise, pesto, lemon juice and pepper in a medium bowl; whisk until well blended.
- Add chicken and carrots; stir to combine.
- Stuff each pita evenly with spinach leaves and chicken salad mixture.
Servings: 4 (1 stuffed pita Per Serving)
Nutrition Facts (Amount per serving):
Total Fat 11.9g
Saturated Fat 2g
Total Carbohydrate 19.2g
Dietary Fiber 2.7g
- Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Tip of the Day
Eating out and tempted by decadent desserts? Order one dessert and several spoons.
Restaurant desserts can look so good they can be hard to resist. Some restaurant desserts can have more fat, sugar and calories than your main meal. Luckily, some restaurants offer bite-size portions so you can enjoy the taste without filling up. If you like to treat yourself to a little dessert after a meal share the taste with friends; order one dessert and several spoons.