Healthy Summer Cookout – Yes Please

Tips for  Healthy Cookout

A healthy cookout seems like an oxymoron. Aren’t cookouts supposed to be filled with hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, desserts, and maybe some beer? Typically yes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a few changes and still enjoy your time outside with friends and family while not messing up your healthy eating habits.

Here are a few tips for you to use at your next family cookout:

  1. Grill some fish. Ditch the fatty hot dogs and hamburgers and throw on some salmon, tuna, tilapia or whatever fish you enjoy. It will be a lot less calories and a much leaner source of protein. Plus, you’ll get those healthy omega-3 fatty acids as well. Just rub the fillet with lemon juice and parsley to enhance the flavor!
  2. Make a better burger. You can still enjoy a nice juicy burger just be sure to buy the extra lean beef or even some ground turkey to make your patty with. Remember that a serving of meat is about the size of a deck of cards (3 oz). Add some lettuce, tomatoes, and onions on top and you’ve got yourself a delicious meal
  3. Veggie Kabobs: Getting a variety of fruits and vegetables is vital for any diet and a great way to do so is to load up some skewers with mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash or any other veggies you enjoy. Spray lightly with olive oil cooking spray and grill until lightly blackened
  4. Corn on the cob: Leave the husk on and grill for about 30 minutes over medium flame, rotating occasionally. Remove from grill, let cool, remove husk and enjoy!
  5. Fruit Pop: Homemade freezer pops are a great treat on a hot summer day! Normal popsicles are loaded with added sugar but when you mash up your own fruit or even pour a fruit smoothie into popsicle molds, you can get a full serving of fruits just by eating dessert!
  6. Keep raw vegetables nearby. We have a tendency to snack while we cook or while we spend time with friends and family. Most of those snacks consist of chips and dip, cookies, or a cold beer. Keep a fresh relish tray close by that is filled with celery, carrots, pickles, peppers and other raw vegetables. You can even add a light ranch or italian dressing to add some more flavor.

With summer in full swing and the 4th of July right around the corner, there is no excuse for loading up on unhealthy cookout foods. Summer is the best time to find local produce and the most variety of fruits and vegetables. Make sure you keep your house stocked with these good foods so you are not missing out on any important vitamins or minerals!

Now that you have these tips, you can look forward to your next cookout with friends or family and know you can stay on track with your diet while still enjoying all the good foods you love!