Tips for a healthy Memorial Day Weekend

Malissa Sarver - Registered Dietitian-KDMC Ohio

Memorial Day is a day for American’s to honor men and women who died while serving in the United States military. Many families and friends gather to spend time together and kick off grilling season as well. Memorial Day Weekend is also unofficially viewed as the beginning of summer.

Everyone loves cookouts and picnics where we gather around a table to enjoy a feast. Many summer feasts are BBQs that include hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, and potato salad. These foods are the traditional cookout foods but are high in calories and you may find yourself eating until you’re stuffed.

A tip to prevent overeating when attending these summer gatherings is to eat a small snack before arriving. This will take the edge of your hunger pains and you will be less likely to overeat. Cookouts or BBQs do not have to be filled with high fat, high calorie foods. Instead, try adding in season fruits and vegetables to the menu. Berries, melons, apples, squash, spinach, and peppers are fruits and vegetables that are in season during Memorial Day Weekend. Local farmers markets such as the KDMC Ohio Farmers Market at KDMC in Portsmouth takes place every Wednesday 4-7 p.m. and the Main Street Portsmouth Farmers Market Saturdays 9 a.m.-noon is a great place to pick up fresh locally grown foods. Fruit can be chopped and made into a fruit salad while vegetables can be grilled on a skewer to make a kabob.

When choosing meat, choose meat that is lean such as skinless chicken or beef cuts with “round” or “loin” in their name such as top round or sirloin for example. When choosing turkey, choose lean turkey instead of full fat turkey. The way you prepare these are just as important as choosing the type of meat. Grilling and baking are great options to use to prepare. All foods can be enjoyed but it is important to remember to keep portions under control. Another staple to barbeques are chips. Chips of all flavors are usually present and it is hard to take just one handful. Instead, grab the baked chips if available and remember to keep the portion size to moderate.

Lastly, don’t just sit around a table socializing. Sitting around a table full of food will difficult to resist picking here and there while socializing. The best way to prevent this is to get up and be active. This will help to balance out the ‘good eats’ by burning off some of those calories. A few fun summer activities include playing horseshoes, touch football, badminton, and swimming. These are all activities you can enjoy with your family and friends. Finally, remember to stay hydrated! Try adding fresh fruit like strawberries, limes, lemons, and watermelon to your water to make it exciting! These are all ways to have a fun but healthy Memorial Day Weekend.

Malissa Sarver

Registered Dietitian-KDMC Ohio