Skip to main content

Quick Tips for A Healthy and Balanced Summer BBQ

By YWCA Minneapolis
August 27, 2021
Social Share

Summertime and sunshine offer opportunities for more regular outdoor activities in Minnesota. Summer holidays and hangouts often include grilling for its flavor, fun and flexibility. Many of us may have a traditional meal or go-to favorites for grilling, but it’s also a great opportunity to explore some new foods and flavors! Read on to learn ways to add balance and nutrition to your barbeque.

Try Lean Proteins

Leaner protein options like chicken breast, pork tenderloin, seafood or tofu offer quality protein lower in saturated fat. 

Veggies, Starches and Fruits

Grilling produce such as vegetables, starches and fruits provides additional fiber, vitamins and minerals. It also offers an opportunity to try new flavors and textures. Examples include asparagus, zucchini, cauliflower, potato, sweet potato, corn, pineapple, melon and peaches.

Variety is Good

Balancing your plate with protein, vegetables and starches will leave you with a filling and satisfying meal with a wide variety of nutrients to meet your needs and keep you energized. 

Go Light on Sauces

Go lighter on sauces, dips and marinades that provide added sodium and sugar. Play around with different spices and herbs to provide seasoning to your barbeque dishes.

Try this 3 ingredient marinade for protein and veggies alike:

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil 
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar 
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

Enjoy Sweet Treats Mindfully

Enjoy sweet treats mindfully by including a small portion with your meal. Keep in mind that you don’t need to finish your plate or earn your treats in any way. Health is all about balance!

Photo via

For a fresh, satisfying and nutritious treat, try an American flag yogurt bark:

  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt 
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup or honey 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1  cup sliced strawberries
  • 1/4 cup blueberries 

In a medium-sized bowl mix yogurt, maple syrup or honey, and vanilla extract together. Line an 11×14 dish with parchment paper and pour the mixture in until spread evenly. Line with strawberries in horizontal rows and scatter blueberries in the upper left corner to resemble the American flag. Freeze until firm and cut or break to serve. Allow to sit at room temperature a few minutes before enjoying!

If you’re looking for more support in enjoying your meals mindfully, book a nutrition coaching session with our YWCA Minneapolis Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for personalized nutrition coaching.

Learn about YWCA Nutrition Coaching