By making a few simple changes it is possible to have a healthy food on your table this Summer, says 5+ A Day.  

By including seasonal fruit and vegetables into your summer get-togethers, you can cut back on the calories without compromising on flavour, says nutritionist Bronwen Anderson.

“In summer the temptation to let go and overeat is rife but there are many ways to still enjoy the summer parties without overindulging or feeling like you are missing out. Too many high calorie treats and heading back for seconds makes it easy to blow the calorie balance out of the water. However, by finding ways to incorporate more fruit and vegetables into your breakfast, lunch and dinner and replace larger servings of high calorie foods with lower calorie fruit and vegetables, you can still enjoy your day, feel full and satisfied on fewer calories, yet still get to enjoy great variety,” says Bronwen.

“Fruit and vegetables are water-rich foods that not only fill you up, they do so on fewer calories, which helps to maintain a healthy body weight,” says Bronwen. “Colour is key when it comes to fruit and vegetables so aim to eat a rainbow of colour every day. It will be the best thing you can do for your body and overall wellbeing this Christmas.”

Here are 9 ways to add extra fruit and vegetables to your Summer meals.

 

·         Indulge in this season’s beautiful berries with a fruit salad for a fresh start in the morning. Take sweet juicy strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, add a squeeze of lemon and fresh mint for some zing. Serve with dollops of Greek yoghurt.

·         Scrambled eggs, salmon and bagels are popular choices for Summer brunch. Pile baby spinach leaves on top of a bagel, add thinly sliced smoked salmon with deliciously fluffy scrambled eggs. Oven roast vine tomatoes until soft, sprinkle with freshly chopped herbs and serve on the side.  

·         If you’re saving yourself for a big celebration lunch a breakfast smoothie is a great option. Whiz up a banana, a handful of frozen berries, low fat milk, yogurt and maple syrup to see you through the morning.

·         Summer is the perfect time to fill the cake tins with delicious home baking. For a lighter breakfast option, impress guests with warm apple and cinnamon muffins fresh from the oven.   

·         Avoid fat-laden dips and spreads and serve sticks of carrot, celery, cucumber, orange segments and grapes for finger food instead. 

·         Perk up platters with frozen grapes or thinly sliced nectarine and pawpaw as a delightful addition to any cheeseboard.

·         Barbequed vegetables are a lovely and colourful alternative to heavy roast vegetable dishes. Asparagus, zucchini, pumpkin and capsicum look gorgeous and are appetising. Top this combination with parsley and lemon wedges, then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.

·         Mini meringues topped with whipped cream, low fat yoghurt or fat-free fromage frais, sliced strawberries, bananas, grapes and passionfruit, is a great option. Or impress with a vanilla pannacotta and a strawberry salsa.

·         For a low fat, fresh tasting pudding sprinkle brown sugar over halved peaches or nectarines and dot with low fat spread. Bake until golden and serve with a spoonful of crème fraîche or yogurt. This is perfect for entertaining a crowd on a budget.  

Visit www.5aday.co.nz for more tips, recipes and other information. Or Like us on Facebook,  facebook.com/5adayNZ or follow us on Twitter, Fredge_5Aday.

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