Tips for a Healthy Backyard Barbecue!

Posted on May 31st, 2019

The summertime is upon us and that means more time spent outside soaking up that Vitamin D! Some of my favorite activities include grilling out poolside while enjoying some extra time with family and friends. If you are like me, you may be tempted to reach for the easy and convenient snacks filled with large amounts of sodium and sugar… which can make obtaining adequate nutrients is going to be extremely difficult. Keep reading to find out some healthier tips, tricks, and swaps you can make for your backyard barbecues while still enjoying your favorite dishes!


The protein

The whole point of a backyard barbecue is to enjoy delicious types of protein. While some prefer the classic burger, chicken, or steak, others may desire some ribs, brisket, or pork. The possibilities really are endless! However, not all meats are equal and some cuts contain more fat than others. Leaner ground meat, skinless chicken breast, and “loin” cuts of steak and pork are just some of the options that are going to contain less fat than others.  If meat is not your thing, check out some of the awesome meatless burgers available in the Reasor’s frozen section including veggie and black bean burgers that are still packed with important vitamins and minerals. Pick your preference and enjoy!


The buns

A hamburger isn’t truly a hamburger without its buns, right?! Whether making sandwiches, hamburgers, or hotdogs, the bread surrounding your favorite protein is important and can still be a big provider of nutrients. It is recommended that half of your grains come from whole grains each day. This is great news because Reasor’s has all different types of whole grain buns and breads that you would need. If you are wanting a lighter option, try only using one side of a bun or piece of whole grain bread. These whole grain options provide not only more nutrients, but increased fiber to help slow down the digestion and keep you feeling fuller for longer.


The sides

Chips, dips, spreads and more are what people tend to mindless eat the most during poolside hangouts. It isn’t hard when you only take one or two bites at a time. Before you know it the bag and bowl are empty! When choosing what to put on the side aim to eat more whole foods first. If there are fresh vegetables, fill up on those before reaching for the chip bowl. If there is fresh fruit, pick your favorites and have a serving or two. Not only do these provide you with lots of vitamins and minerals, but there are also antioxidant properties to these foods as well. But don’t just stop at raw, get creative and throw some of your favorites on the grill. Popular grilled side items include zucchini, avocado, corn, peppers, pineapple, peaches, bananas, pears, and even watermelon. Who knew?! If these options aren’t available, enjoy your favorite chips or crackers but only let them take up about a quarter of your plate! That way you know you are consuming the correct serving size while still being able to indulge in your favorite side!

Many dips that we consume at our backyard parties, although delicious, may contain high amounts of fat and sodium. If you use sour cream with your dip mixes, try using plain Greek yogurt instead. Hummus is a great dip that comes in a variety of flavors, catering to every person’s desired taste, while providing some extra protein and fiber. If you like salsas, find your own recipe and spice it up to your liking. Look for recipes that use freshly chopped vegetables and savory spices. Don’t let dips and spreads satisfy your hunger, they are meant to be eaten on the “side” for a reason.


The sweets

What’s a cookout without homemade cookies or brownies! For the major sweet tooth out there, saying no after just one can be pretty difficult. But, everything in moderation! If you want the cookie, eat the cookie. Appreciate how good it tastes and keep enjoying the time with your friends and family. Instead of going back for another, try a piece of fruit instead. Reasor’s has great frozen options such as Halo Top ice cream or Skinny Cow ice cream bars and sandwiches. Another great frozen treat for the hot summer days is Nestle Outshine Fruit bars. Pick your favorite and enjoy! Don’t deprive yourself of your favorite sweet treat, but don’t over indulge either.


The summer is such a fun time of year filled with lots of outdoor activities! These useful tips can help you achieve your healthy goals or simply help you try new things. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your favorite foods and always remember Reasor’s is here to help you!


About the Blogger:

My name is Bailey Chambers and I’m a current dietetic intern at Oklahoma State University! I teach group fitness at Pure Barre, love the sunshine, and am always ready to try to new foods!


The information included does not constitute medical advice and should only be used as a general recommendation for a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle. Reasor’s Registered Dietitians’ opinions and recommendations are their own; they are not paid to endorse any products or services.