Eat Healthy at Summer Cookouts

dreamstimefree_healthy_salads Source: Dreamstime

Summer cookouts can be a killer!  If you're hosting a cookout use the menu below to provide the healthiest fare for your guests.  If you can bring a dish, choose a healthier option and make sure it's located in an area where folks gather.  Studies show that people follow each other and if they see you grab some fresh squash or grilled eggplant on rosemary, they may decide to try some as well.

At a recent cookout amidst all the hot links, buttered corn, and beer, I visualized my perfect menu.  Here's what I came up with:

  • Lean meats such as ground turkey, bison, salmon, and no-nitrate beef hot dogs (for the kids of course!)
  • Grilled vegetable kabobs with things like eggplant, squash, asparagus and anything else seasonal
  • Whole Foods buns which contain no artificial ingredients and really are whole grain!
  • Fruit salad
  • If you must...Sweet potato chips
  • Water
  • Juice with seltzer water (let your friends my their own drink); great alternative to soda
  • No sodas. not even diet!
  • Red wine, use smaller glasses
  • Sugar free desserts, sherbet, dark chocolate squares
  • Water (yes, I repeated it; get the point?)

The list is endless!  There are so many alternatives to eating well without sabotaging your waistline.  The key thing to remember is plan, plan, and plan!  You can't go to a cookout and hope for the best.  You must be deliberate, strategic, and focused on staying on track.  Instead of focusing on the food, try setting a goal of meeting five new people.  Engage in some new games with guests or play more with the kids.  Eating healthy at summer cookouts is possible - now make it your reality next time.