When someone mentions BBQ, what comes to mind? Hot dogs, hamburgers, barbecue
chicken, and corn on the cob, right? Everyone loves to spend some time
firing up the grill around friends and family this time of year, but not
everyone loves what the unhealthy food options can do to our summer bodies.
Here are seven tips for hosting a barbecue that will keep everyone happy
1) Healthier Sides
Half the time you go to a barbecue, you’re full before the burgers
even hit the grill. Traditional sides like coleslaw and potato salad contain
350 calories. Switch it up and go with something lighter. Not only will it be healthier,
but your guests will still be hungry when it’s time for the main course.
A Mediterranean-style pasta salad and grilled veggies are both good options if you’re looking to break from the mold.
2) Get Creative With Your Burgers
Most guests will still probably want to stick with the traditional hamburgers
and hot dogs, but for those who are feeling more adventurous or looking
for a lighter option, grill up some
turkey breast burgers and serve them on a whole-grain bun. A typical hamburger contains 500
calories, while a turkey burger cuts more than
100 calories and 5.5 grams of saturated fat.
Another great alternative to burgers and hot dogs is fish. Grilling some
salmon or tuna is another delicious option for health-conscious guests.
3) Don’t Overcook Your Burger
Well-done and charred meat contains carcinogens that can increase your
risk of cancer. Always marinate your meat before grilling. Use a healthy
marinade like garlic and rosemary or lemon dill.
4) Create a Dessert That’s Delicious and Healthy
After a day filled with grilling and socializing, its best to follow-up
with a dessert that’s still enjoyable but not over indulgent. Serve
something that includes
in-season fruit, like summer stone fruit, peaches, and nectarines.
Angel food cake is always a crowd-pleaser, as is low-fat Greek strawberry yogurt.
If you’re really craving some chocolate, take fruit salad, watermelon,
or grilled pineapple and
lightly dip it in some dark chocolate.
5) Practice Fire Safety
Fire safety while grilling is something that every host should take seriously.
Never use a grill on a
balcony, terrace, or roof. Avoid squirting flammable liquids onto an
open flame, and never use a
propane tank inside of the house.
6) Have Healthy Drink Options Available
Staying hydrated is important, so stick with water for most of the barbecue.
Heavy beers can be high in calories and contain added sugars, while the ethanol
makes you hungrier and causes you to crave high-calorie foods. It’s a barbecue, though, so if you really want to enjoy a drink,
stick with a light beer or distilled spirits. If you do chose to indulge
in an adult beverage, do so in moderation.
7) Practice Proper Food Safety
Above all else, make sure that none of your guests get sick due to poor
food safety. Always keep your food at a safe temperature. Thoroughly cook
all of your meats, and keep raw and cooked meats separate. On a hot summer’s
day when the temperature is above
90 degrees, don’t keep food out for more than an hour.
Save Us a Plate!
Frederick Memorial Hospital hopes that everyone enjoys a great number of happy and festive barbecues
all summer long.
Contact us for information on nutrition counseling and programs that can help you
maintain a healthy lifestyle.