3 Ways to Enjoy a Lighter, Healthier BBQ Season

Written by Jamie Luu, RDN, LDN , Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist

Summertime is barbecue season! Juicy hamburgers, delicious hot dogs, creamy pasta salads - typical barbecue food tastes great but it is also full of calories and fat.

While it is okay to indulge every now and then, here are some tips to mix up the routine and enjoy a lighter and healthier barbecue season.

1. What to Grill

Rub a piece of chicken breast with some olive oil, garlic, and rosemary or drizzle some lemon or lime juice over a piece of salmon, then throw them on the grill. Instead of corn on the cob, which has more calories and carbs than other vegetables, you can cut bell peppers, zucchini, squash, mushrooms, and onions into thick pieces, put them on skewers and grill them to perfection. Grilled pineapple can help satisfy your sweet tooth and give your barbecue a tropical touch.

2. What to Snack On

Instead of chips and salsa, snack on a colorful veggie tray with tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, celery, bell peppers, broccoli or cauliflower. Instead of regular vegetable dip, use hummus or make your own sauce by combining 1 cup of greek yogurt, 1 clove of garlic, ½ finely grated onion and ½ finely grated cucumber. Season to taste with salt and pepper (paprika and cayenne pepper are also good) and enjoy. Homemade guacamole is also a great snack option and provides healthy fatty acids. Try it with tortilla or baked chips.

3. What to Drink

Make your own, healthier sodas! Fill a glass with half 100% fruit juice of your choice and half carbonated water. You can experiment with different juice flavors. We like apple and tropical fruit the best, but grape, cherry or cranberry are delicious choices as well. You can also add the juice of half a lemon or lime to a glass of carbonated water or add actual lemon or cucumber slices to a pitcher of water. Like regular soda, these drinks are best when served cold.

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