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The Last Barbecue

Can of Beans and Corn on the Cob

As barbecue season is coming to an end and tailgating season is just starting, some of you may wonder how you can choose or make healthier choices during your grilling events. Many barbecues are filled with several different types of chips, dips, fried foods, and sweets. All of these choices can fit, if eaten in moderation. Choose leaner protein options including chicken, turkey, or even lean beef (like loin or round). Skewers that contain different vegetables and meat are a great choice! If you are looking to go the skewer route, season some shrimp at home and alternate shrimp and pineapple on the skewer. Fill your plate mostly with vegetables and lean meat options. If you want to try the different dips, put a little of your favorites on the plate. Guacamole is a great dip option due to the healthier fats that it contains, both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. It can also be a great topping option for your burger or hot dog. Another great way to use avocado is in deviled eggs as a substitute for mayonnaise.  This improved the nutrient density of your meal by adding potassium, B6, fiber, folate, and vitamin C. 

Baked beans can be a great carbohydrate choice because they contain fiber and protein however, they can also be high in fat and sugar depending on how they are prepared. If this is the case, choose a bean salad or make one at home! Corn is a great source and one ear of corn is about two servings. It is high in fiber, but limit the butter and salt, or try it without either! If you are watching your carbohydrate intake, another option is eating your burger or hotdog without a bun. For dessert, choose fruit!

Healthier side options for a potluck barbecue/tailgate:

  1. Deviled eggs made with avocado instead of mayonnaise
  2. Guacamole and whole wheat pita chips
  3. Three bean salad with chick peas, black beans, black eyed peas, tomatoes and onions drizzled with olive oil and vinegar
  4. Corn on the cob lightly salted
  5. Roasted vegetables
  6. Broccoli slaw or coleslaw (vinegar based instead of mayo)
  7. Roasted potatoes
  8. Bruschetta with whole wheat crostini’s
  9. Vegetables and hummus
  10. Fruit salad
  11. Sirloin, boneless/skinless chicken breast, any type of fish, or pork loin as protein potions