Health & Wellness Newsletter

How to Host a Healthy Backyard Cookout

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Your summer schedule may be filled with backyard cookout events, but attending a barbecue could have you putting away about 1,000-1,500 calories between the burgers, potato chips, and macaroni salad—and that’s if you don’t have one or two beers. When you host a cookout this summer, teach your friends how to do it right with these healthy strategies.

Swap out the red meat and pork

Burgers and steaks are delicious on the grill, but they are higher in fat and calories than options like grilled chicken breast or shrimp and fish. One grilled chicken breast has about half the calories of a burger, and the flavor possibilities are endless when you use a marinade before grilling.

Keep the grill going for fruits and veggies

Once the meat comes off the grill, keep the heat high for fresh veggies and fruits. Plums, peaches, and other stone fruits become sweet like candy when they are cooked on the grill, and just about any veggie tastes amazing after grilling over an open flame. If you have vegetarian guests, grill the veggies first.

Offer salads with vinaigrette instead of mayo

Potato and macaroni salads are backyard cookout favorites, but these dishes often contain mayonnaise, which is high in fat and cholesterol. Vinaigrette-based salads are a healthier option, and they can be safely left out of the fridge for longer. You should be cautious with foods left out on the serving table—especially meats and perishable items that can spoil in the sun.

No matter what you serve at your backyard barbecue, be sure to provide plenty of water and refreshments to keep cool in the warm weather.

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