It’s carnival season. Time for parades, music and Mardi Gras Balls. As with many occasions in Louisiana, all festivities are accompanied with food. I like to refer to these foods as “party foods.” For example, many of our family functions include: boudin balls, sausage, finger sandwiches, chicken drumettes, fried fish, chips, dip, and numerous desserts. And if we are having a Mardi Gras party, we can’t forget about the king cake. Whether you are going to a parade or getting dolled up for a ball, you can still enjoy the season in a healthy way.
My first tip is to try and avoid most fried foods. Pick one or two of your favorite fried foods and enjoy it. I’m not saying take a plate full of fried fish and a plate full of boudin balls, rather pick a piece of fish and one boudin ball. My second piece of advice is to add some color to your plate. If you are in a need of a dish, bring the veggie and fruit tray. This can help you fill up on fruits and vegetables. If you are a “dip lover,” have a small serving of each or pick one of your favorites. Remember not to over-do it with the chips. If brisket sandwiches are being served, pass on the bread and just eat the meat. This will save you some extra calories.
What about those adult beverages? Alternate your alcoholic beverages with water to help you stay hydrated as well as to spare some unwanted extra calories. Finally, we can’t forget about dessert. What’s Mardi Gras without the king cake? I recommend consuming a smaller portion. It’s Louisiana and it’s a party, there will probably be several types of king cakes available. Again, I suggest picking one or two of your favorites and have a small slither of each. Mardi Gras is a unique tradition we get to experience. Enjoy it all in moderation! Laissez-les bon temps rouler!
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture