Many local school districts presented their graduating class of 2011 June 9th-11th, including Hampton, North Allegheny and Pine Richland school districts. Naturally, after these monumental moments, there will be abundant graduation parties. Right now is the peak time for these parties and if you will be participating in the festivities it is important to know how to eat and what to avoid so here are some quick tips to help you survive the graduation party season.
1. Always arrive on time if you want to eat: It is important to not consume food that has been sitting out for extended periods of time. By arriving early, it is more likely that the food being served is fresh and at the correct temperatures.
2. Observe the serving methods: Food that is hot should be kept heated with a chaffing dish, food that is cold needs to be on ice. No one wants to eat cold chicken or warm pasta salad. Not only are those unappetizing but depending on the length of time the food sat at the wrong temperature could determine how sick you could get later.
3. Always ask the host about ingredients: If you or perhaps your child has a specific allergy to anything from nuts to blueberries, it is important to ask the host or whoever prepared the food if any of the dishes being served contain the food you are allergic to or if there was possibility of contamination.
4. Stick with safe and healthy food choices: Try some vegetables or a fruit salad to start with. These foods are lower calorie and fat and can help fill you up before you dig in to the cheeseburgers.
5. Avoid empty calories: If possible, chose water instead of soda pop. Some parties will have bowls of snacking food available, but try for a plate of fruit salad instead of picking at greasy chips. Of course, there will be cake, and it is ok to have one piece, or even better, split a piece with a family member or friend. But the bottom line is, fill up on other, more nutritious food first, and then enjoy some dessert.
Now, get out there, celebrate and congratulate the class of 2011, enjoy the graduation parties, and avoid taking a box of leftover cake home with you!