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How to Add Pep to End of Summer Celebrations


Disclaimer: I’ve partnered with Planters Peanuts. As always, all opinions are my own. Please read my disclosure statement here.

With Labor Day just around the corner, instead of spending the holiday weekend lamenting the dwindling days of summer, why not celebrate!

To help ease the transition from August to September—and stay energized during end of summer celebrations—here are four of my top tips. Working these into your celebrations not only will help you add great taste—and key nutrients—into your daily diet, but set you up for success whether you’re hosting a backyard barbeque or cocktail party, or attending a food-focused summer event.

Have fun at the bar. To delight—and feed—your guests during cocktail hour and beyond, decorate your bar or buffet (or even your kitchen countertop) with a colorful tray filled with single serve portions of the following in mini bowls or cups (plastic, ceramic, or glass will do):

Planters chili lime or chipotle peanuts: Heart-healthy* and nutrient dense, one ounce (28 grams) provides about 170 calories, 7 grams of protein and 6 essential nutrients of satisfying fiber. One ounce also provides 14 grams of fat, with about 80 percent from “good” (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) fats.

Green olives: 5 medium pitted olives have about 25 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, and 115 milligrams of sodium.

Mini whole grain pretzel sticks: 3 pretzel sticks contain about 45 calories, 2 grams of fiber, 1 gram of fat and about 130 milligrams of sodium.

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Shop smart. When shopping for that holiday barbecue or cocktail party, start with fresh, seasonal produce like corn on the cob, zucchini, carrots, eggplant, watermelon, honeydew and berries. Fresh fruits and vegetables not only help to fill you up with fiber, but they provide tons of vitamins and minerals not to mention water to keep you hydrated—especially important in warm weather. While your local supermarket can offer affordable and tasty produce options, so too can local farmer’s markets. To find one wherever you are (and hopefully it’ll be close enough to walk to), here’s a handy guide by the USDA.

It’s always great to pick up easy snacking options when you’re at the store to have around the house too, such as nuts! Planters offers a wide range of healthful single-nut and mixed-nut varieties.

Don’t forget dessert. Who doesn’t like something sweet after a meal? Some options you can offer to your guests include fresh fruit kebobs made with a mix of seasonal melons, citrus fruits, and whole strawberries or why not put small portions of fresh fruit salad in mini bowls or cups. You can line the kebobs and single serve portions across a white lacquer tray or rectangular serving dish. And how about single scoops of ice cream served in glass ice cream cups or small wine glasses (stemless, French or any that you choose) with serve-yourself toppers like fresh, colorful berries and Planters cocoa peanuts. For a savory dessert, add mini bags of oil-popped popcorn mixed with unsalted or flavored peanuts to the menu. Adding a single 1 oz, serving of peanuts to your dessert will deliver protein and essential nutrients.

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Say thank you in style. Whether you’re attending an event hosted by a friend or family member or work colleague, why not say thank you with wildflowers or sunflowers from your local farmer’s market. Or you can fill a small clay or ceramic bowl with locally grown bite size tomatoes. Another idea: fill a basket with whole, fresh fruits like apples and oranges and a few canisters of your favorite Planters peanuts.

How will you add pep to your end of summer celebrations?

*Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as peanuts, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol and not resulting in increased caloric intake may reduce the risk of heart disease. 

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About The Author

Elisa Zied is a nationally recognized registered dietitian nutritionist, author, speaker, and spokesperson. A trusted source of food, nutrition, and health information, Elisa has garnered millions of media impressions, lending her expertise and real-world perspective to dozens of TV shows, web sites, news organizations and magazines. She’s the author of four nutrition books and is currently working on her first novel. You can find her previous Food, Fitness & Fiction posts here and connect with her on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook.

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