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making-grill-healthy||Plate of healthy grilled vegetables on a wooden table outdoors||Plate of healthy grilled vegetables on a wooden table outdoors||Plate of healthy grilled vegetables on a wooden table outdoors

How to Make Your Next Grill-Out Healthy

Summertime is here which means days at the pool, weekends at the lake and plenty of outdoor activities to fill your time. Warm weather also means grilling season is officially here. According to the 24th Annual Weber GrillWatch Survey, 25% of people are grilling to be healthier.

Healthy Ideas for Your Next Summer Grill-Out

The traditional hamburgers, potato salad, and chips? These foods are high in calories and fat. Not to mention the potential for food safety concerns from a potato salad being left out for too long. Want to try a mouthwatering menu that’s nutritious and flavorful?

Tips For New Healthy Grilled Meals

  • Using rubs and marinades are a great way to infuse flavor without adding too many extra calories. Try adding a Caribbean jerk rub or citrus juice to chicken for a new flavor.
  • Buy whole grain buns, rolls and pasta to increase the fiber and protein in your grains.
  • Mix up your cooking methods and never get bored with vegetables. Try them raw, grilled, roasted or baked. Try herb infused oils and low-fat Greek yogurt dip to pump up the flavor.
  • Don’t forget about dessert! Grilled peaches or bananas pair well with a scoop of low-fat frozen yogurt. A campfire works well too!
  • Fruits and vegetables are at their peak nutritional value and taste. Go to your local farmer’s market or food stand and try something unfamiliar. Be sure to stock up on your seasonal favorites while they are at peak flavor! Most vendors will give you a free sample!

Summer parties can be healthy and delicious with a little planning. Try to offer something from each of the food groups and don’t forget to put items back in the refrigerator after two hours for food safety!

Original post date: June 2016. Revised: June 2020.

Ellen Thomsen, MS, RD, LMNT, CDE, IFNCP™
Ellen Thomsen, MS, RD, LMNT, CDE, IFNCP™

Ellen Thomsen, MS, RD, LMNT, CDE is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist and Integrative and Functional Nutrition Certified Practitioner. She is the diabetes education program coordinator at CHI Health and sees patients at the Millard Clinic. She works with patients to identify root causes to health conditions and make changes to improve overall health. Ellen’s passion is to help others develop lifestyle habits that allow them to feel their best.

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