Summer Cookouts with a Twist

Memorial Day weekend has passed but summer cookout season has officially started!


What better way to celebrate the sunny, warm weather than a festive cookout with family and friends? You may be thinking, “Great, there goes my diet” – but a few smart menu choices can go a long way this summer!


Get to the meat of the problem.

· Choose 93% lean ground beef,

· Try a black bean or other veggie burger

· Go for grilled skinless chicken breast instead of fried drumsticks, thighs, or patties.

· For kabobs/skewers, include a lot of veggies paired with lean meats or fish.


Control your portions. Cut helpings in half, and slow down before going for seconds. And don’t forget about MyPlate: make half your plate veggies and fruits, and split the other half between a starch and a protein.


Think about your toppings.

· Choose whole wheat buns instead of white buns.

· Avoid toppings like cheese and bacon. Instead, add lettuce and tomato and other toppings with a kick, like onions or peppers – my favorite!).

Lighten up your salads. A few tweaks will lighten up those traditional creamy side salads we love so much at a cookout.

· For coleslaw and potato salad recipes, replace every 1 cup of mayonnaise with ½ cup light mayo plus ½ cup fat free sour cream.

· For pasta salad, skip the mayo altogether and try light Italian dressing.


Keep dessert fresh. Nothing truly hits the spot in the heat like cool, naturally sweet fresh fruit.

· Serve colorful fruit skewers brushed with vanilla, or use an ice cream scooper to make a colorful fruit salad with melon balls

· Top angel food cake with mixed berries.

· Serve low-fat frozen yogurt or sorbet rather than full fat ice creams.

For more tips on eating better and moving more, visit http://www.mass/gov/massinmotion.

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