Written by Sarah Milano
With Easter just around the corner, you are probably already planning your big Easter feast. Heaps of mashed potatoes covered with gravy, soft biscuits and a juicy ham may be the typical Easter dinner; however, it doesn’t have to be your only option. This Easter holiday, why not try something new by making it healthier?
1. Switch to Sweet Potatoes
If you love mashed potatoes, why not try mashed sweet potatoes? If you usually serve baked potatoes with your Easter dinner, you can serve baked sweet potatoes. Basically any way you serve potatoes, you can also serve sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are a much healthier alternative to this starchy side and are packed with many vitamins and minerals such as:
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Beta Carotene
Best of all, sweet potatoes are delicious!
2. Go Light on the Ham
If ham is the main event in your Easter feast then making some simple tweaks can help your waistline. First, bake your ham instead of deep frying it. Second, don’t add any glaze to the ham or top your slice with gravy. Your ham should have enough flavour naturally without adding more calories and saturated fat on top of it. Third, cut away all pieces of fat from your slice of ham before you even put it onto your plate. Finally, don’t pile your ham high on your plate. Remember that protein should only account for 25% of your plate.
Of course, you could always create a new Easter dinner tradition by cooking a turkey instead. White meat is always a healthier option than any pork or beef product.
3. Add a Side Salad
Vegetables should make up 50% of your plate and Easter dinner is no different. Create a colourful side salad that is jam-packed with different vegetables including lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, grated carrots and even olives. Skip heavy dressings in favour of light dressing such as red wine vinaigrette or balsamic vinaigrette.
4. Nix the Biscuits
Biscuits are essentially carby sponges that offer little nutritional value but wallop a caloric bang. If you really want bread to accompany your feast, try rye bread with a little bit of margarine spread on top. This grain is packed with minerals and is a much healthier option than traditional white grain. Even better, it is packed with fiber which will fill you up and keep you from that second serving of ham.
5. Choose Dessert Wisely
What holiday meal would be complete without a delicious dessert? This year skip the cookies, cakes and pies and choose a dessert just as sweet: a mixed fruit bowl. Pick some of your favourite fruits, slice and dice them, mix them in a bowl and serve as a sweet after dinner treat. Strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, grapes, kiwi, oranges, mango and raspberries taste great together and will end your Easter feast with a vitamin punch.
By following these 5 simple changes to your Easter dinner, you can keep from gaining holiday weight without sacrificing your holiday meal. Best of all, your feast will be as delicious as ever and the start of new, healthy holiday eating traditions!
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