Healthy BBQ Makeover Ideas


Summertime is upon us.  It’s time to entertain outdoors and have a cookout…. but what if you are working hard to make healthy eating choices? How do we enjoy the festivities without blowing it? Here are some suggestions to help you stay on track:

Situate yourself  far away from the food tables to avoid mindless snacking. Instead, focus on  catching up with friends or family.

Add extra nutrients to your appetizer tray by using fresh veggies served with salsa or a yogurt and dill dip.  Guacamole is healthy and delicious (although it’s still high in calories)!  If you decide to use corn chips, be sure to buy organic to avoid GMO’s.

Substitute bison, turkey or portobella mushrooms for beef burgers.  Bison contains considerably less fat than beef. A 3.5 oz. serving of bison contains 2.42 g of fat while the same size of choice beef has 18.54 g of fat. Bison meat also contains fewer calories than beef.  A 3.5 oz. serving of bison has 143 calories compared to 283 in the same serving size of choice beef . (

You can also make shish kabobs with lean chicken, beef, or shrimp. If you are having ribs, then make a rub with fresh herbs and spices and avoid the high sugar content of most store bought BBQ sauces.

Switch out mayonnaise based potato and macaroni salads for pesto based side dishes. Better yet, grill up a platter of a variety of your favorite veggies which can be prepared in advance and served at room temperature. If you make a green salad use vinaigrette dressings rather than creamy ranch style dressings.  Avoid the low fat salad dressings which usually have added sugar or chemicals, homemade dressings are quick to make and taste great!

If you like wine, enjoy a wine spritzer to reduce calories. Drink sparkling water or water infused with fresh fruit for a festive drink with no added sugar….this way you can save those sugar calories for a little bit of dessert!

Stick with fresh fruit or just have a couple of bites of your favorite dessert…sometimes that’s all you need so you won’t feel deprived!

After the meal, plan a fun activity to get moving and avoid the temptation of going back for second helpings.