Have a Healthy St. Patrick's Day Party
Capitalize on this holiday's themes and serve up a fun, celebratory
and nutritious spread. "St. Patrick's Day is a festive opportunity to make
healthy eating fun for kids," says Angela Lemond, RD, CSP, LD, spokesperson
for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Make positive food memories this St. Patrick's Day by teaching your kids that eating healthy is fun.
Go with Green
"Green-themed St. Patrick's Day is the perfect
opportunity to get kids interested in eating green produce, which is packed
with all kinds of nutrients," says Karen Ansel, MS, RD. Try these green
- Ansel suggests making green edamame dip for a
protein- and folate-packed snack. Puree the steamed and shelled edamame beans with
olive oil, lime juice and cilantro. Then, serve the dip with crisp green
vegetables, such as cucumber slices or snap peas.
- Cut green bell peppers crosswise near the
pointed end to make Shamrock-shaped slices, suggests Lemond. Make "Shamrock
Mini Pizzas" by spreading pizza sauce and cheese over split English
muffins. Place one bell pepper slice on each mini pizza, and bake until the
- For a main dish, try tossing cooked whole grain
pasta with pesto and green peas.
Try a Rainbow Theme
Serve a variety of fruits and vegetables of all colors for a
dose of vitamins and minerals.
- Deanna Segrave-Daly, RD, suggests a Rainbow
Smoothie Sampler. Blend up a batch of smoothies of each color of the rainbow,
and pour into mini paper cups. Arrange the cups in the shape of a rainbow, and
let the kids "taste the rainbow."
- Lemond recommends making a rainbow fruit platter
by arranging strawberries, orange segments, kiwi, blueberries and purple grapes
in the shape of a rainbow. Place a small bowl of pineapple chunks at each end
of the rainbow to serve as the "pot 'o gold."
are packed with healthy vitamins, minerals and fiber. Go with the Irish theme
of the holiday, and try these potato dishes.
- Serve up a healthy potato soup. Substitute
fat-free evaporated milk in place of heavy cream to reduce the fat in this
creamy, comforting dish.
- Angela Ginn, RD, LDN, CDE, spokesperson for the
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, suggests whipping up creamy mashed potatoes
using low-fat milk, light sour cream and chives. Serve as a side dish or use as
a topping for a traditional Shepherd's Pie prepared with lean ground beef.