Summer is winding down but don’t fret! Labor Day weekend fun is right around the corner! To help best prepare and celebrate Labor Day weekend, here are 5 easy meals for small and large groups!
Post written by Tiana Yom, MPH, CHES
Here are my top 5 quick and simple summer foods, perfect for Labor Day!
- Smoothies. Put your creativity to the test! Smoothies are a great grab-n-go snack. Depending on the combinations of ingredients, smoothies can be packed with essential omega-3s, vitamins (A, B, C, D, E and K) and minerals (Iron, Potassium, and Calcium). My personal favorite, a blueberry flaxseed orange smoothie, provides sources of omega-3s from the flaxseeds, Vitamins C, manganese and fiber from blueberries, potassium from oranges, and protein and calcium from plain, non-fat Greek yogurt.
- Grilled Meat. Roasting, baking, and broiling are all Nutritioulicious cooking techniques, but nothing screams summer like food hot off the grill! Take advantage of the nice weather and grill your favorite protein sources and vegetables. Chicken, fish, beef, pork, and tofu all work great on the grill, just make sure to follow these food safety tips when grilling meat. As for vegetables, corn, eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers are a few of my favorites – and nutrition powerhouses – to grill for a Labor Day BBQ. Corn is a good source of fiber with 5 grams in ½ cup or 1 ear of corn.. Eggplant skin contains 2.5 grams of fiber per cup andnasunin, an antioxidant that may help stimulate new growth of blood vessels and blood supply. Tomatoes contain lycopene, which may help lower the risk of heart disease and prevent cancer, and colorful bell peppers are filled with vitamins A, C, B6, beta-carotene and lycopene.
- Salads. When you hear the word salad, you may think of a boring bowl of iceberg lettuce with shredded carrots and a mushy slice of tomato. Well, think again! Jazz up your summer salads with a tomato mozzarella pasta salad, corn salad, or even a more Nutritioulicious potato salad. Get creative and mix and match in-season ingredients – there’s no wrong way to make a salad!
- Frozen Fruit. Put some grapes, bananas, and mango slices in the freezer for an instant healthy frozen treat! One cup of grapes provides more than a quarter of the daily recommended values of vitamins K and C. Bananas keep you energized throughout the day thanks to their natural sugar. A cup of ripe mango slices supplies 25% of the needed daily value of vitamin A and have high levels of fiber (from pectin) and vitamin C, which can help lower cholesterol levels. Frozen fruit is a great way to keep cool and stay energized for few calories throughout Labor Day weekend activities.
What are your favorite Labor Day foods?