Labor Day is celebrated each year on the first Monday in September, but this holiday holds much more meaning than just a 3 day weekend (although, that part is really nice). Labor Day is a day of recognition and appreciation for all the hard working people of our nation. This includes all kinds of job titles: teachers, postal workers, health care workers and many, many more. Even hard working students get to celebrate this holiday by taking the day off to spend with family and friends.
Just like most holiday’s, Labor Day celebrations typically involve lots of delicious food. And while it’s not necessary to eat super healthfully all the time, there’s nothing wrong with sprucing up the nutrition of your cook out. Keep reading to learn some of our best tips for a healthier holiday weekend!
1. Choose Lean Meats. When shopping for meat to throw on the grill, remember that many grocery stores offer lower fat versions of the traditional favorites. For example, look for lean beef that is no more than 10% fat. If hotdogs are your thing, give turkey or chicken dogs a shot. These offer the same amount of delicious flavor and room for toppings, but minus some of the saturated fat! If poultry is your favorite, then locating chicken breasts without the skin is the best way to go.
2. Use Whole Grains. Whether you’re preparing burgers or hotdogs, using whole grain buns increases your meals fiber, vitamin B and magnesium. Not to mention, the consumption of whole grains has been linked to reduced risks of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and some forms of cancer.
3. Add Some Color. Don’t forget about the side dishes! And when preparing your accompaniment, think about how you can make them as colorful as possible. Fruits and veggies make for delicious and refreshing sides on a hot summers day. Not to mention, it’s a great way to add some quick nutrition to your meal. Check out these yummy side dishes: Kale Chips , Brussels Sprouts and Potato Mix , Avocado Chickpea Salad , Southern Vegan Collard Greens , and Fresh Peach Salsa.
4. Remember Portion Control. All foods, even the less nutritious ones, are okay in moderation. The healthiest and happiest plate is one that’s filled with foods that make you feel good physically and mentally. So that means enjoying your favorite foods in moderation. You can still be a healthy little cook and savor those decadent desserts at the same time. The key here is portion control and making sure you’re dipping out appropriate serving sizes. This will look different for everyone, because we all have very unique needs! Listen to your body and respond when it tells you it’s either hungry or full.
5. Focus on The Company. Although the tasty food is a fun part of the celebration, it doesn’t even come close to the joy that spending quality time with family and friends provides. Sit back, relax, and enjoy your long weekend with those you love the most.
We hope you have a very happy, safe, and healthy holiday weekend. Happy Labor Day!