How to Stay Healthy at a BBQ

It’s easy to dine healthy at a summer picnic or barbecue with these simple tips!


Healthier Picnic Options

  • Non perishable items: pretzels, salsa, whole wheat buns, baked chips, nuts
  • Perishable side dishes: marinated vegetable salad, bean salad, hummus & raw veggies, fresh fruit, potato salad/pasta salad/ coleslaw made with ½ plain nonfat Greek yogurt and ½ light mayonnaise
  • Drinks: water, sparkling water, fruit juice, iced tea, water or tea with fruit (make ahead of time to really extract the fruit flavors into the drink!)
  • Dessert: grilled fruit, fruit & low-fat dip, dark chocolate s’mores
  • Entrées: skinless chicken breast, veggie burgers, grilled portabellas, fish & seafood, veggie kabobs, lean beef (trim off visible fat), ground turkey burgers

Food Safety

  • Plan just the right amount of food to take so you don’t have to worry about leftovers.
  • Remember to wash your hands – bring along disposable gloves and hand sanitizer if running water & soap is not available.
  • Carry your cooler inside the air-conditioned car, not the trunk.
  • Use a separate cooler for drinks so the one containing perishable food won’t be constantly opened and closed.
  • When taking food off the grill, use a fresh plate – not the one used to hold raw meat

Turn a picnic into a “fit-nic”

  • Start up a game of badminton, volleyball, corn hole, croquet, horseshoes, Frisbee, softball, football, soccer, or just walk around!

** To reduce your cancer risk, the American Institute for Cancer Research recommends not burning or charring grilled meat, fish, or poultry.


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