Now that the weather is getting warmer and the days are getting longer, backyard barbeques and cookouts will once again become a regular occurrence. Healthy eating can be a challenge at these events, but if your prepared to tackle any obstacle you may face. Here are some tips for making healthy decisions at a cookout:
- Make a healthy menu. If you’re hosting, serve healthy options for all to enjoy. Instead of chips and dip, serve a veggie tray. Grill some lean protein such as skinless chicken breasts or turkey burgers and instead of pasta salads as a side, opt for a fresh garden salad.
- Bring a healthy dish. If you’re a guest, bring your favorite healthy side dish to share. That way there’s a healthy option that you know you’ll enjoy.
- Have a healthy snack before you arrive. If you arrive too hungry, you might pay less attention to what you’re putting on your plate. Have a healthy snack before you leave to help you choose foods that are in line with your health goals.
- Eat slowly. Fill your plate once and take slow bites while eating. It takes your brain about 20 minutes to recognize that you’re full, so take your time and enjoy every bite!
- Stay hydrated. Drinking water is always important, but it’s essential during the spring and summer months when it’s warmer. Keep your water bottle handy and filled to help you stay hydrated.
- Focus on family and friends. Instead of making food the focus of the event, have fun enjoying time with friends and family. Start up a game of backyard volleyball or badminton!
Staying aligned with your health goals while enjoying yourself is possible with planning and preparation. With these tips, you’ll be sure to stay on track while enjoying the beautiful weather and quality time with loved ones.