Tuesday, March 18, 2014

March Madness: Up Your Game with Healthy Snacks

NCAA March Madness is just around the corner, and we have our fingers crossed for all the Texas teams! But March is also the month when the last of the Valentine’s Day candy is out of the house, we’ve finally shed those extra holiday pounds, and we’re looking forward to summer trips to the beach.

Tasty, sure. Healthy? Umm…

With the game on the TV, it’s too easy to overindulge in not-so-healthy food. What can you do to bring your best snack game to the tournament this year?

Veggie Party Platter, “Courtside” Edition

There will be plenty of chips, pizza, and soda to go around, so why not serve up some healthy game-time snacks? Even the most die-hard pizza aficionado needs a break from the grease at some point. This carrot-and-olive platter is an easy, fun way to get some vitamins and minerals into the basketball fans at 
your party. By halftime, they’ll appreciate the fresh crunch of a carrot or two.

Make your mark on the court

Clementines are delicious and nutritious, and—oh my goodness, they look like tiny basketballs too! Use a permanent marker to draw the seams on each fruit (or recruit your kids to do this), and in no time, you’ve got a bowl of mini-basketballs. Put these easy-peel clementines within reach of your favorite sports fans, and you’ll be surprised how fast they disappear. Nothin’ but net! The images below are truly hard to tell apart!

The Ultimate Sweet-’n-Savory Sixteen Veggie Bracket

If you really want to go for the championship this spring, get your family involved in a dinner-by-dinner playoff to determine which vegetable is the household favorite. Kids and parents fill out brackets beforehand, and over the course of a month, everyone tries two vegetables dishes with every meal (at least one bite of each!). The whole family votes on each dinner’s favorite, and the winning vegetable moves on to the next round. You can sweeten the contest by adding a healthy prize for the winning bracket, like a fresh fruit smoothie.

It can be hard to keep the junk food at bay, but if you keep healthy options on hand, you really can make a difference in your family’s diet. Chop those veggies, cheer on your favorite men’s and women’s teams this spring, and feel good while doing it!

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