Strawberry Shortcake Jars and Healthier Outdoor Entertaining Tips

Last Updated on June 19, 2020 by Diane Hoffmaster

One of my favorite places in my house is not actually IN my house.  Our stone patio is my family’s go-to place for lounging, enjoying a fire or chatting over a cup of coffee. As we move into summer, I was looking for a few healthier outdoor entertaining tips and a recipe for Strawberry Shortcake Jars came up.  Why are these strawberry shortcake jars healthier?  Because they are small, bite-sized desserts that satisfy your sweet tooth without being hugely filling.   I love dessert and if there is a full dessert table, I am going to be at it.  Probably multiple times!  If you are planning some outdoor entertaining this summer, here are a few tips to make it healthier as well as a quick recipe for easy strawberry shortcake jars.

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Healthy Outdoor Entertaining Tips

 Healthier Outdoor Entertaining Tips

1.  Lighten up your salads: Instead of focusing on mayonnaise based salads try something a little lighter.  Make a salad of micro greens with diced fresh fruit and a seasoned vinaigrette.  If you choose to make a mayonnaise-based dish, try cutting it half and half with yogurt to cut the fat and calories (and if you are watching your caloric intake, check out my post on how to cut calories in summer cocktails) (and if you are watching your caloric intake, check out my post on how to cut calories in summer cocktails).

2.  Choose smarter salty snacks:  Everyone loves chips and dip but they come packed with a whole lot of calories and fat.  Choose smarter options like popcorn, pretzels or baked chips.  Include dips like hummus or a Greek yogurt based dip instead of the traditional dips that are rarely low calorie!

Strawberry Shortcake Jars and Healthier Outdoor Entertaining Tips


3.  Ditch the soft drinks:  Save yourself a ton of money (and lighten up your carbon footprint) by skipping the soft drinks and sports beverages.  Instead, put out a glass container filled with water that has been infused with fresh fruit or a combination of cucumber, mint, and lemon.  The water is refreshing and there are zero calories naturally!

4. Consider going meatless:  This one is tough!  Some people are just carnivorous by nature and if the meal doesn’t include a steak they aren’t happy.  Try grilled vegetables with vegetarian sides. If you want to include meat, make it a leaner choice like fish, shrimp, or grilled chicken.  Adding cubes of lean meat to skewers makes a great party food and won’t break your diet completely! Here is an affiliate link for a vegetarian grilling cookbook that might be helpful.

Strawberry Shortcake Jars and Healthier Outdoor Entertaining Tips

5. Remember the two-hour rule: Nothing says unhealthy like a bout of food poisoning, right? With an outdoor party, food temperature should be checked closely. Unrefrigerated food should not sit out more than 2 hours. If it’s above 90˚F then food should not be sitting out over one hour. Cover everything to keep bugs away.

5.  Get people moving!  Just because you are a grown-up doesn’t mean you can’t go play!  Set up a badminton or volleyball net in the backyard or see if you can have your party at the neighborhood pool. Exercise can be fun as well as healthy.

6.  Make small, individual servings of dessert:  Instead of making an entire dessert table, consider making individual servings of a tasty dessert like this strawberry shortcake in a jar.  Once dessert is served and eaten the temptation is gone and you and your guests won’t be munching on cookies for the next 3 hours!

Strawberry Shortcake Jars and Healthier Outdoor Entertaining Tips

Individual Strawberry Shortcake Jars

Yields 20

Strawberry Shortcake in Jars

Quick and easy strawberry shortcake for a crowd

1 hrPrep Time

1 hrCook Time

2 hrTotal Time

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Recipe Image


  • 1 box of yellow cake mix, baked according to package directions and cooled.
  • 3 pounds fresh strawberries, sliced thin
  • 1-pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • powdered cocoa for dusting if desired


  1. Cut the cooled cake into very small pieces
  2. In the jars (or paper cups if you dont have them) layer cubes of cake and strawberries until you reach the top of the container.
  3. In a mixing bowl combine the heavy cream and powdered sugar. Beat on high until stiff peaks form, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Top each jar with a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle with cocoa powder if desired



2208 cal


177 g


155 g


23 g
Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info


Do you have any other outdoor entertaining tips to share?

Want a delicious homemade ice cream topping?

Try this easy blueberry sauce with bourbon!

Bourbon Blueberry Sauce for Icecream




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