Who doesn’t love a barbeque? Summer is full of local neighborhood barbeques or family get-togethers. However, filling up on burgers and hotdogs every weekend isn’t the healthiest way to spend your time. Check out these tips on how to make your barbeque healthier without sacrificing all the good stuff.

A new way of cooking

A simple way to make things healthier without anyone even noticing is by making those side dishes a little differently. Cut down on the butter and oil, add some subtle veggies to your dishes where you can, and use low-fat dairy products for your mac and cheese – I guarantee that no one will even notice the difference!

There are plenty of healthier options in place of fries and chips, such as these crispy no fry potatoes on the Traeger grill. I dare say you might end up preferring these to the standard French fries. And while grilling is already a healthier option than frying, there is nothing to stop you from trying a few steamed or baked sides – baked chicken wings are arguably more delicious than when they’re fried. It’s also important that everything you serve is homemade rather than store-bought, as packaged and processed food is often full of salt, sweeteners, and preservatives. Not only is home cooking healthier, but it can also save you loads of money by just forking out for the raw ingredients.

Just a few substitutions

A great way to make your meal healthier is by substituting beef with chicken and using turkey dogs instead of those cheap hot dogs packed full of junk. You can even try your hand at a few healthier seafood dishes to mix it up – crab cakes, fried squid, scallops, or a simple grilled fish dish. And the vegetarians will be eternally grateful if you offer up some veggie-friendly dishes, too, meaning plenty of roasted vegetables, salads, and stir fry to accompany their main meal.

Get your guests moving.

Barbeques are a great way to get the kids away from their video games and out enjoying the sunshine – so offering up some activities to occupy them is essential to keep them engaged. Barbeque games will help get them active while encouraging socializing. A good water fight or a game of “hide and seek” can be an excellent way for your little ones to get some exercise in and work up their appetites. You can even set up some team sports and get the other parents involved too.

Healthy deserts

Another way to up their vitamin intake is to offer fruit to your guests. Refreshing treats like watermelon or pineapple are impossible to resist in hot weather and work as a great palate cleanser between portions. You can always make healthy homemade ice cream by simply mixing up some fruit and yogurt and freezing it in time for the party, this works as popsicles, or you can serve it in scoops.

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