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How To Have A Healthy Memorial Day

Posted by Mandy Sacher on May 23, 2018

Posted by Mandy Sacher on May 23, 2018

Memorial Day weekend is around the corner, which means time for celebrations and making the most of the warmer weather. Many consider this weekend to be the start of Summer – boots are being traded in for flip flops, jeans for cutoffs and beanies for sun protective hats!

While everyone’s spirits are high with the sun coming out, often this can mean less healthy and nutritious snacks make their way back to the Summer table in the form of ice creams, hot dogs and barbeque snacks. But there is no reason to stress. With a few simple tricks up your sleeve, a little planning and preparation will have your family sailing through Memorial Day weekend, and frankly the whole Summer, as healthily and nutritiously as possible!

Let’s start with mindset…

First of all, don’t freak! A long weekend is a great opportunity to organize fun activities for your family, socialize with friends and create precious, long-lasting memories. I’m all for a little fun and indulgence, there’s no such thing as perfect and I promise, there is no need to find yourself googling quick slim detoxes come Tuesday morning.

Know that if a few treats pass your lips, or your kids end up lusting after the colorful cupcakes at a friends barbeque, it’s okay. If you decide to indulge in something a little unhealthy, enjoy it and then move on. For the little ones, try placing the focus on fun activities rather than enforcing hard and fast rules on what they can and can’t eat… trust me, the latter is a sure way to foster junk food obsession! And you may be surprized when given a little freedom, your kids might even pass up on some the sugary sweets!

The activities…

Why have I mentioned this before talking about food? Fun activities are a great way to remove the focus from food, providing active, quality family time and enjoyment for both adults and kids. Whether you’re escaping the city for the weekend or staying in town, plan some activities that involve getting the whole family moving – water sports, beach adventures, outdoor sports and even craft are all great options. The key here is preparation. It’ll also help to hear the words, “Mom, I’m bored!” a lot less.

The menu…

Mark my words, with a few simple swaps, there are always wholesome options to unhealthy snacks that may circulate a Memorial Day weekend barbeque.

Starters and sides… fried potato chips? Try our Sweet Potato Wedges, delicious with a natural sweetness, they are a perfect swap.  White bread move on… I love my Herbed Flatbread Chips, made from whole grains and flavored with natural herbs and spices, these are a great option for the dip platter. On that note, my Vegan Beetroot Hummus not only looks colorful and vibrant on any grazing table, but you get some veg into your child’s day. Pink hummus? I think that’s one thing we can certainly get our heads around this weekend! If you’re wanting the ‘wow’ factor when entertaining your guests but have little time to prep, then my fabulous Rainbow Salad is the perfect salad for you. Filled with beets, carrots, cabbage, pomegranate and more – it’s a fabulous antioxidant boost for everyone.

The mains…

My Beef and Veggie Meatballs are gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free, plus, it’s one of my most popular recipes! Meatballs are a fantastic way to get children to eat vegetables they might normally refuse. These meatballs contain carrot, zucchini, onion and an apple for added sweetness. Children often enjoy sweet sauces with their meat dishes, so rather than adding processed ones, try serving with Wholesome Child’s Homemade Ketchup.

Teriyaki Chicken in Wraps – Chicken Teriyaki is a firm favorite amongst children and adults alike. Most teriyaki sauces are filled with empty sugars and are loaded with sodium. But, this healthy version tastes delicious, obtaining its flavor from a combination of raw honey mixed with tamari. Little ones can help in the kitchen by preparing the ingredients for the sauce and mixing them together. This is sure to be a winner! My recipe is both gluten-free and dairy-free too.

Lamb koftas – Our lamb koftas are a family favorite and jam packed with protein and veggies. They’re also dairy, gluten and nut-free! The mix of spices in this recipe, combined with the sweet flavor of the medjool dates really makes this special. Delicious served with our Tzatziki or Tomato Ketchup recipes.

Salmon and Millet Rissoles – Gluten-free, nut-free and dairy-free, this recipe is a delicious and nutrient-packed family meal. High in protein, omega-3 and fiber, they are a brilliant and versatile way to enjoy salmon – in a burger bun, in a wrap or with a salad!

The treats…

Sweets are a traditional part of celebration, but as I mentioned earlier there is always a wholesome option! My nutritious favorites are Chocolate Quinoa Crackles and my Tahini Carrot and Date Bliss Balls. My kids are always asking for these two treats and what’s even better is that they can both be made in advance. As a busy mom, anything that can be prepped when I’ve got the chance, and ready to go when needed is a lifesaver. If you’re in the mood to spend time in the kitchen with your kids baking up a storm, then look no further, my Almond Sponge Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting will disappear in a flash, it tastes so good, hard to believe it doesn’t contain any refined flours or refined sugar!

Celebrating using nutritious and healthy sweet options brings peace of mind that the family can indulge over Memorial Day weekend, without any hidden nasties, additives or preservatives.

And a quick note on the drinks…

Sun and activity are a normal part of this weekend, so don’t forget to keep your kids hydrated by offering water over sugar-filled soda. And for the big kids? Drink responsibly and make fun, refreshing non-alcoholic beverages like seltzer spiked with fresh lime and berries. Yum!

See? It’s not so scary after all. These simple ideas will have you completely ready for a healthy and fun-filled Memorial Day weekend. Enjoy!

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