You Can Give Your Guests Great Flavor — and Healthy Choices

Offering foods that taste good is vital, but good nutrition should be the driving force behind your dishes. You don’t have to choose one or the other: Great flavor and healthy choices can pair up to create a menu full of delicious options for guests.

A great guide in choosing such healthy selections — and more specifically, a healthy lifestyle — is the Healthy Eating Pyramid offered by the Harvard School of Public Health. When preparing menus and testing recipes, align your standards with this handy tool, which uses a foundation of daily exercise and weight control, both essential elements for good health.

Building from that foundation, Harvard suggests that consumers eat more foods from the base of the pyramid, such as vegetables and whole grains. That’s an invitation for you to get creative in the kitchen, making flavorful dishes that give guests guilt-free choices.

Fewer items from the peak of the pyramid — including red meat, refined grains and potatoes — are suggested. Rather than eliminate these choices completely from your menu, use portion control and healthy-cooking techniques to ensure that your options are as healthy as possible. Also offer plenty of menu items with healthy protein sources like fish and beans. You can also serve whole grain options like brown rice and whole wheat bread rather than refined grains like white rice, white bread and pasta.

Giving guests the opportunity to stick to their healthy lifestyles keeps them coming back for more.