An afternoon barbeque is the symbol of a relaxing summer. A time when you let go of the hustle and bustle of the school year and an over packed schedule, a great summer BBQ is like a reward for all of that running around. Yup, you earned that time…so kick back and enjoy it!
The summer sun and long afternoon make it easy to consume more than you mean too, especially when faced with many hours of fantastic foods and delicious drinks. A few changes to the menu and a plan for keeping relaxation and fun the top priority is all you need to avoid over doing it.
Build a better burger:
Choose…whole wheat sandwich flats – Instead of…regular bun (save 60 calories)
Choose…90% lean ground sirloin – Instead of…80% ground beef (save 90 calories)
Choose…50% Cabot Sharp Light cheddar cheese – Instead of…regular cheddar cheese (save 30 calories)
Build a better beverage:
Choose…flavored seltzer with a splash of lemonade – Instead of…all lemonade (save about 100 calories)
Choose…frozen juice ice cubes (for water or seltzer) – Instead of…glass of juice (save about 100 calories)
Choose…light alcoholic beverages and drink 1 glass water for every beverage – Instead of…high calorie beverages with no other hydration
Build a better side salad:
Choose…Hellmann’s Canola Cholesterol Free Mayo – Instead of…Hellmann’s Real Mayo (save about 50 calories)
Choose…whole wheat/high protein grains such as Barilla ProteinPlus, quinoa or farro – Instead of…white flour, low protein grains like white flour pasta or couscous
Choose…colorful sides like Green Giant Broccoli slaw – Instead of…traditional one color cabbage slaw
Choose…non-fat Greek yogurt based cream salads – Instead of…creamy dressings made from mayo or sour cream
Build a better grilled menu:
Choose…a balanced plate with Grilled Avocados – Instead of…adding another carbohydrate rich side to your plate
Choose…Grilled Fruit (add a side of light ice cream) – Instead of…more decadent desserts
Choose…plain grilled corn – Instead of…corn basted in butter first (save about 100 calories per tbsp
Choose…grilled portabella (to make a “burger”) – Instead of…meat or chicken
Choose…salt free spice rubs – Instead of…sugary bbq sauces
A few other things to keep in mind:
Know your portion! Avoid going straight for the bag, box or bowl because you won’t know how much you consumed. Use a napkin or plate as a “sight” check on how much you are eating.
Engage in lawn games and summer fun instead of sitting by the snacks…corn hole anyone?
Bringing a dish to help out the host? Make sure it is healthy and then you will know there is at least one great choice for you!
Allison Stowell, M.S., RD, CDN, is the registered dietitian for the Guiding Stars Licensing Company, a company devoted to helping you find the good, better and best choices at the supermarket. A working mom of two, Allison enables individuals to make positive, sustainable changes in their eating habits by stressing conscious eating, improving relationships with food and offering a non-diet approach for reaching and maintaining ideal body weight.