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How to Host a Healthy Cookout

Updated on September 12, 2007

Sunshine, buzzing bees, and warm weather can only mean one thing: Summer!

Summer brings fireworks on the Fourth of July and cookouts...well, whenever you feel like using the grill, which could be pretty often. So, how do you keep those legs fit for shorts and still enjoy a fun barbeque?

A cookout doesn't have to be full of fattening food. Follow these tips to incorporate a splash of health into your next backyard BBQ.

  • ¨ Burgers and hotdogs aren't your only option, you can also grill chicken, fish, and veggie substitutions (for those of us vegetarians), like garden burgers or tofu dogs.
  • ¨ Provide fresh food snacks, like carrot sticks, watermelon chunks, and colorful salads, instead of packaged snacks, like greasy potato chips.
  • ¨ Skip the 99¢ package of flimsy white buns. Choose whole wheat or whole grain buns instead.
  • ¨ Fill a jug with water, ice, and sliced lemons, then fill yourself up with more water than calorie filled beer and soda.
  • ¨ Load your plate with grilled vegetables like corn, asparagus, and eggplant.
  • ¨ For something different, try grilling fruit, like apples, peaches, and pears.
  • ¨ If you do have a burger, load it up with fresh tomatoes, lettuce, and pickles. Mustard is a great low-calorie choice, but go easy on the ketchup and mayonnaise.

Work up an appetite for all the great food by planning some fun cookout activities. Try organizing a Frisbee throwing competition, a game of kickball, or head out for a big group walk around the neighborhood.

With the right planning, you can have a fun, healthy cookout with your friends and family.

Do you have any great cookout recipes to share with us?

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I have made this 3 times, I love love love it I cut the olive oil in half bc I thought it was too much, and used can corn bc Im well a busy mom like many otehrs! It was a hit by all ages at the table, 13 months to 60! Thx for the recipe!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I made this for a BBQ yesterday a reoaemmndoticn by a co-worker; and it was a hit. Everyone asked for the recipe. My husband thought it would be better with more cilantro and more pepper (he loves spicy food). And I did use half brown sugar and half regular sugar. Simply delicious! Oh, I served it with scoop corn chips!! h

    • avatarlagi profile image


      10 years ago

      I am a skinny man but the picture of this hub interesting


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