‘Tis the season of backyard grilling, but don’t panic. Just because the first things you think about when someone says “BBQ” are burgers and hot dogs doesn’t mean you have to ruin your new beach bod with fatty foods. Here are seven healthy tips for having a guilt-free BBQ with family and friends.
1. Grill plenty of vegetables: You can grill almost any vegetable easily without worrying about overcooking them. Cut them into slightly large shapes that will make them easy to put on the grill or make them into skewers, throw a bit of olive oil on them and they’ll be ready in less than 10 minutes.
2. Opt out of chips and dip: It’s easy to go overboard with these addicting snacks, so to save some calories put out a fresh veggie tray with some light ranch instead.
3. Grill lean meats and fish: Trade in the typical hamburgers and hot dogs for turkey burgers and chicken. Also, have some healthy fish options, such as salmon and tuna.
4. Make healthy sides: Below I have listed some of my favorite BBQ side dishes and recipes.
- Tabouli Salad
- Sweet Potato Wedges
- Quinoa Recipes
- Wheat berries with Strawberries and Goat Cheese
- Guacamole Salad
5. Make your own condiments: Store-brand condiments tend to be packed with preservatives. Try to prepare your own fresh condiments. I love having turkey burgers with apple mint relish!
6. Have fun and be active: Don’t just sit there…get up and move! Play games with your guests, go swimming, have a dance party, do something to get people out of their seats and moving before they get up for seconds. Seconds are okay, but they’re even better if you actually work up the appetite for them rather than just getting up for more because you’re bored.
7. Ditch the soda and beer: This is the tough part. With the commonly known name “beer-b-q,” BBQs have gotten a bad rep, but there are other much healthier alternatives when it comes to what your guests are sipping on. Forget about packing the cooler with these two unhealthy beverages and try these festive mocktails instead!
These healthy summer BBQ tips will have your guests raving about their 4th of July for days! And they’ll thank you for being able to get out of bed the next morning feeling good and guilt-less.
Raquel Santos is a Health and Fitness writer for College Lifestyles™. She is a junior studying Dietetics at Rutgers University in New Brunswick and an absolute gym rat. When she’s not training for races, she likes to catch up on the latest health trends, read, hang out with friends and family, draw, and write in her blogs.