Valentine’s Day is one of the biggest restaurant evenings of the year – one that often hosts high-calorie dinners and desserts. However, going out for dinner on Valentine’s Day isn’t always so desirable when you’re considering high-priced menus or looking for a sitter, which is why some simply prefer to avoid the crowds and celebrate quietly at home with the family.
Registered nutritionist Susan Bowerman of Herbalife Nutrition gives five tips on how to prepare a healthy Valentine’s Day meal at home – and even how to involve your little ones in the fun:
1. Join the children
Helping your children create a family meal has a number of advantages. By helping prepare your Valentine’s Day dinner this year, you’ll have fun choosing your favorite ingredients and using your creative side. You can even develop an appreciation for healthier foods. It is also a great opportunity to encourage them to try new foods and ultimately help them appreciate healthy foods as they continue to grow. If you are able to prepare something yourself, no matter how easy, and then serve it to the family, it strengthens your self-esteem.
2. Start with a healthy appetizer
Starting your meal with a salad is a good habit as long as the salad is not loaded with fatty ingredients and heavy dressing. Use plenty of vegetables with an oil and vinegar dressing served on the side. Dip your fork in the dressing and then pick up some green with your fork. With every bite you get a little taste of getting dressed, but you’ll use a lot less. Alternatively, a low-fat, creamy dressing can also help your kids get their vegetables in.
Third Exchange some healthy ingredients
Here are some swaps you can try against some common ingredients to lighten up your favorite recipes. Have fun experimenting and don’t be surprised if you like the healthier version even better!
- If your recipe requires ground beef, use ground turkey or chicken breast instead.
- Instead of butter or margarine for baking, try replacing some fat with apple sauce, baby plums, or mashed bananas.
- Are you planning to roast some vegetables? Try the broth, wine, or vegetable juice instead of butter.
- For a cream alternative to sour cream, cream cheese, or cream, use low-fat versions or try Greek yogurt, which also has some probiotic benefits
4. Treat yourself to homemade heart-healthy desserts
Fruits are a preferred substitute for sugary desserts and sweet spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg or clove can give fruit sweet notes instead of sugar. Since most fruits are naturally low in fat, sodium and calories – without cholesterol – they are also healthy for your heart. In addition, fruits are your source of important nutrients such as potassium, fiber, vitamin C and folic acid.
Here’s a fruit-based dessert to try:
Fried pears with honey spices and pistachios
- 3 ripe pears, peeled, halved and seeded
- Maple syrup, ½ tsp. per pear half
- 1/3 cup chopped salted pistachios
- Greek-style vanilla yogurt (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange the pears and cut them side-down into a rectangular 2-liter baking dish. Drizzle with maple syrup and sprinkle with spices as desired. Fry uncovered for 20-25 minutes, occasionally pouring liquid in the pan over the pears. Arrange on serving plates, drizzle pan juices over the pears, sprinkle with pistachios and top with a pinch of yoghurt.
Make it fun!
Valentine’s Day is a holiday that is about celebrating love. Creating something together and simply enjoying each other’s company are the most important ingredients of all.
For more tips from Susan, go to www.IAMHerbalife.com,
Link to this post:
Note: We are not the author of this content. For the Authentic and complete version,
Check its Original Source