Potlucks and Parties? Prep Using MyPlate

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Typically, we think of the holidays being the time for parties and potlucks, but there can always be a reason to celebrate. Right now, we are in the midst of Super Bowl parties, engagement parties, baby showers, and pretty soon it will be spring and summer barbecues and cookouts. The USDA, MyPlate, and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans have teamed up to bring us some ways to provide ourselves with healthy options even while enjoying a party!

  1. Plan for colorful plates
    1. If you are hosting a party or get-together try to include dishes that cover the five main food groups (dairy, vegetables, fruit, grains, and protein) or ask people to sign up to bring foods that fall into the five food groups. This offers a lot of variety in the types of foods that are available to eat!
  2. Don’t forget the fruit and veggies
    1. If you are not hosting the party, offer to bring fruits and/or vegetables so you know there will be at least one healthy option at the event.
  3. Look first
    1. At a buffet-style or pot luck party look around the table at all of your options before filling your plate, this will help with prioritizing what foods you want. When you start to serve yourself, always fill your plate with half fruits and vegetables first.
  4. Make your water fancy
    1. Avoid those sugary beverages like a punch, soda, etc. and offer up some fruit infused water. Also, consider setting up a station where people could add fruit, mint or other herbs to unsweetened iced tea or water.
  5. Remember food safety
    1. To keep party guests free from the chance of illness, try to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold until you are ready to serve. Also, don’t leave food out at room temperature for longer than 2 hours.

Check out MyPlate for more tips and recipes and be sure to look up NC State Universitry Safe Plates for more food safety information in your home!