Erica Digap / Jun 21

6 Healthy Dish Ideas For Your Next Summer Party

Erica Digap / Jun 21

Summer is officially in full swing, which can only mean one thing: party time is also in session! 

These bright, sunny days go hand-in-hand with backyard BBQs, luxuriant picnics in the park, and birthday parties galore. And of course, no party would be complete without a good spread of delicious and nutritious foods! Read on for tips and ideas on how to tweak your party and picnic staples to make them healthier so you can throw guilt-free celebrations all summer long. 

  1. Healthy charcuterie boards 

Is there anything that says “cute picnic” quite like a charcuterie board?  We don’t think so! 

An assortment of sweet, salty, and savory finger foods is a sure way to get the party going – and the best news is that they’re extremely customizable, so you can make a tailored board that perfectly adheres to whatever your health goals are. 

Some ideas for a healthier charcuterie board: 

  1. Tweak your starters and appetizers

Pasta and potato salads are staples for any get-together out in the sun, but they can be pretty heavy depending on your favorite recipe. Make them lighter by cutting out the mayo and opting for vinaigrette-based dressings instead. After that, it’s not about cutting everything else in the recipe out, but instead adding a ton of delicious and nutritious stuff back in! Fill your salads with a huge variety of veggies of every kind. Hint: aim for every color of the rainbow so that you can maximize the different plant-based phytonutrients available in each bite. 

As for your appetizer spread, try using alternative ingredients to lighten the load on some of your favorite crowd-pleasing favorites: 

  1. Healthier mains

Hot dogs and burgers are probably the first things you think of when you think of cookouts, but all that red meat, preservatives, and other potentially-questionable ingredients may give you pause. Some healthier alternatives to throw on the grill that won’t weigh you down quite as hard include: 

And no matter what type of burger or sausage you choose to serve up, make sure there are plenty of veggies on hand to add tons of vitamins and minerals to every serving! The standards include tomatoes, red onions, and lettuce, though you can also make your burgers a little more gourmet with other additions like caramelized onions, mushrooms, grilled peppers, and/or spicy guacamole for an extra kick. 

  1. Fun fruit salads

When your guests start craving something sweet, there’s no better way to satisfy that craving than with a bowl of fresh fruit! 

Change up your standard fruit salad by making your own and including a ton of fresh fruit that you might not find in your standard grocery store fruit salad pack. For example: 

Alternatively, you can also make crowd-pleasing fruit kabobs that are suitable for guests of all ages! Just chop heartier fruits like pineapples, watermelons, and cantaloupe into large pieces, skewer them in alternating patterns, and serve them with the yogurt of your choice for dipping. You can even throw them onto the grill to get those sugars nice and caramelized for even more BBQ deliciousness. 

  1. More nutritious cocktails

It’s not a summer party without fun, refreshing cocktails! Ditch the pre-made mixes, which tend to be overloaded with sugars, and stick with your own homemade blends instead. Luckily, this is super easy: all you’ll need to start is some frozen fruit. 

And for the crowd who doesn’t drink, you can whip up some light, delicious, and refreshing  “mocktails” like:

Key Takeaways

Summertime is the perfect time to kick back, relax, and enjoy time with the ones you love most – but that doesn’t mean that you need to sacrifice your health goals in the process. Tweaking your party menu with these simple tricks will help you keep you satisfied and nourished after each party, so you can keep the celebrations going the whole season.