Thursday, September 9, 2010

Backtrack: Surviving Children's Birthday Parties

Back from hiatus! It's been a while - Nicolas Thomas arrived on August 13!! We are all doing well - keeping busy - getting some sleep - and trying, to no avail yet, to get into a schedule. 

I am going to backtrack just a bit to the days before he arrived...

Mariela's Third Birthday
Mariela turned 3 on August 9th. We had a small celebration with my parents and grandmother the day before. While encouraging Mariela's three year old independence, I asked her what she would like to have for dinner on her birthday. She replies, "HOT DOGS!!!"

Quelle horror!!! Right?

Not really!! I am glad she likes all kinds of foods - even if it is the worst one for you.

As hot dogs are a staple at most parties and summer holiday weekends - including those for adults - what is one to do to in order to maintain a good way of eating?? Eat well as much as you can. Go ahead and have one (1) hot dog and then try to fill in the gaps with better sides. Or if you can, bring a side dish that you know is healthy and won't ruin your good work.

So, that's what I tried to do. I made side dishes that wouldn't break the food budget: pasta salad (recipe below), corn on the cob, watermelon for dessert, and of course a birthday cake. By offsetting the bad food with some healthy alternatives, the meal does not seem like a waste. You are able to enjoy the cookout with everyone else.

Now the hard part is staying away from the second hot dog or the chips, dips, and other sides. Your best bet if you are unable to have healthy side or alternatives is to eat at home before you go. It's not as much fun, I know, but it's a great way to fiend off the hunger when the Doritos are calling your name.

Good luck at the kids' parties!!

Pasta Salad
1 lb of cooked Barilla Plus Rotini pasta
Favorite chopped vegetables - I choose carrots, red peppers, cucumbers, black olives
Feta cheese: 1/2 regular and 1/2 reduced fat
Dressing: Greek, Italian, or oil/vinegar; no creamed dressings

Mix all ingredients together and keep cold until serving. Enjoy!!

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