Millions of people across the United States and the world will be celebrating Easter this weekend. Easter is a time for families and friends to come together to celebrate and enjoy each other's company. It is also a time when many of us will indulge in rich, heavy foods. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with indulging in moderation, eating too much of these types of foods can leave us feeling sluggish and set back our health goals.
If you are interested in making your Easter feast a little healthier this year, there are plenty of simple tips and tricks that you can use to create a delicious and nutritious spread that everyone will love. By making a few small changes to your menu and focusing on fresh, wholesome ingredients, you can enjoy a healthier Easter without sacrificing flavor or tradition.
In today’s post, we will take a closer look at some of the ways you can enjoy food this Easter weekend without compromising your health.
Start with a Lean Proteins
Ham is a popular choice of meat for an Easter meal, and roast lamb is another traditional dish to serve for this occasion. Both of these meats have some positive health benefits and contain several important nutrients. They are also rich in protein. However, they can be high in saturated fat, which means that you should enjoy them in moderation.
If you want to keep your Easter feast traditional, you can enjoy these meats in a healthier way by opting for lean cuts and using healthier cooking methods without adding unnecessary additional fat. If you’d like to break from tradition, you can also choose alternative proteins such as turkey or fish. These are lower in saturated fat and calories, but no less delicious.
Fill Half Your Plate with Veggies
Vegetables are a great way to add flavor and nutrition to your Easter meal. Aim to serve several different kinds and to fill at least half your plate with vegetables.
Roasting or grilling vegetables such as asparagus, carrots, and brussels sprouts can bring out their natural sweetness and make them appealing to children and adults alike. Minimize the amount of fatty ingredients, such as oil or butter, that you add to your vegetables as this can significantly increase their caloric and saturated fat content.
You can also create colorful salads with a variety of fresh greens and veggies for a healthy and refreshing side dish.
Choose Your Side Dishes Carefully
Traditional Easter side dishes, such as scalloped potatoes and macaroni and cheese, are many people’s favorite part of the meal. They can also be quite unhealthy as they are loaded with calories and fat. We’re not suggesting you forego these dishes entirely, though! Instead, choose the ones you like the most and enjoy them guilt-free in moderation, then skip those you will not miss so much.
Try swapping one or two of these dishes out for healthier options such as roasted root vegetables or salads. These sides are just as delicious and satisfying, but with far fewer empty calories and far more nutrients.
Add Flavor with Herbs and Spices
Rather than relying too much on high-fat sauces and gravies to add flavor to your dishes, try using herbs and spices instead. These make your dishes far tastier without adding any extra fat or calories.
Fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and basil can add a greater depth of flavor to roasted meats and vegetables, while spices like cinnamon and nutmeg can bring warmth and sweetness to your desserts.
Keep an Eye on Your Portion Sizes
Even if you do not change anything else about your Easter meal, you can stop it from derailing your health goals simply by watching your portion sizes so that you don’t overeat.
Instead of piling your plate high with food, try filling it with a variety of smaller portions. This way, you can enjoy a little bit of everything without feeling excessively stuffed at the end of the meal.
Once you’ve finished eating, wait 15 minutes or so to determine whether you are really still hungry before going back for seconds. Using smaller plates is also proven to help curb overeating and increase feelings of satisfaction.
Spring is here, meaning that Easter is a great time to get outside and be active with your family and friends. Why not take a walk after dinner, enjoy a long bike ride over the holiday weekend, or play a game in the backyard with your children?
Staying active can help you burn off some of those rich foods, keep your energy levels high, and ensure that you feel your best both physically and mentally.