With Memorial Day approaching, we’re all looking forward to getting outside with family and friends to enjoy barbecues. Although hamburgers, hot dogs, and potato salad are staples at these affairs, it’s important to keep an eye on the things you’re eating and make healthy choices when possible.
In general, try to stick to lean meats like poultry or fish, or substitute meat with colorful vegetables. For flavoring, use acid-based marinades like lemon or vinaigrettes instead of thick, sugary sauces.
There are many recipes out there that offer nutrient-dense versions of our favorite summer foods. Dana-Farber nutritionist Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, has narrowed down a list of her favorite healthy barbecue recipes for the summer:
- Infused Water
Add fresh fruit, mint, or ginger to water and replace sugary sodas or juices.
- Strawberry Watermelon Gazpacho
A cold soup made with fresh fruits, cucumber and lime juice.
- Salsa Cruda
Fresh tomatoes, onion, and cilantro offer an alternative to jarred salsas.
- Veggie Burgers
A healthy grilling alternative with fresh spinach and black beans.
- Salmon Burgers
Combine fresh salmon and green means for great way to fill your barbecue plate with the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Chunky Guacamole
An easy and healthy appetizer with avocados, garlic and lime juice.
- Ginger-Zapped Lemonade
A fresh alternative to the usual glass of lemonade.
- Grilled Fruit Kabob
A twist on the typical summer salad that includes pineapple, pears, and a variety of stone fruit.
In addition to these healthy recipes, it’s important to keep your grill clean and use lower temperatures. The blackened areas on charred and grilled foods like meat, poultry, and fish can contain carcinogenic chemicals that could lead to cancer. More tips on how to stay healthy this summer.
For more nutrition videos and resources, visit our Eating Well During Cancer website. Additional recipes are available in the Dana-Farber health library or on our free Ask the Nutritionist App for iPhone or Android.