Go healthy and fun for your St. Patrick’s Day party

Serve green and colorful party treats to your friends and family this St. Patrick’s Day!

March is here! To celebrate while the weather transitions, add bursts of bright colors, like the Irish shamrock green to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and the coming of spring. To do this, add some colors to your St. Patrick’s Day party treats. Michigan State University Extension provides some suggestions to make your party treats healthy, fun and colorful.

St. Patrick’s Day is a perfect opportunity to introduce a variety of colorful vegetables and fruits that are packed with nutrients for your family. Dyed green beer? Sorry, it is not on the list. Beer contains a large amount of calories. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), one can of beer contains 154 calories.

The following are some tips for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in a healthy way:

Build a colorful fruit and vegetable tray

Add colors and texture contrasts on your fruit and vegetable trays by combining cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, broccoli and honey melon. Try cutting crisp vegetable and fruit with shamrock shape cookie cutters.

Brighten up your dip

Be creative! Pack dip with doses of protein using tree nuts like cashew, beans (cannellini) and combine with tahini. Then spice up the dip by pulsing in greens of your choice—cilantro, parsley or a combination. Instead of serving potato chips, offer kale chips or fresh cut vegetable.

Make fun treats

Treat your friends and family with some healthy and festive cucumber feta rolls this St. Patrick’s Day. Instead of making feta rolls with phyllo dough, try wrapping the cheese with thin cucumber slices that can add more texture to the feta rolls.

Making your food colorful and fun not only boosts your appetites, it also keeps you healthy! MSU Extension offers education programs where you can learn how to prepare healthy meals and snacks. For more information, please visit http://msue.anr.msu.edu/topic/info/nutrition.

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