With Memorial Day kicking off this weekend, it is time to fire up the grill and dust off the picnic table. But, think before you plan your menu with fatty meats and heavy side dishes.
It is easy to tank up on calories.
New York City-based registered dietitian Jessica Fishman Levinson tells EverydayHealth.com that leaner meats are best such as turkey breast and flank steaks, as well as fish.
“Other healthy options include such popular seafood as tuna, salmon, halibut, sea bass, striped bass, scallops, and shrimp.”
It is best to stay away from unhealthy carbs such as chips as well as hamburger and hotdog buns made with white flour.
Instead think veggies and fruits as your munchies. If you must dip them, substitute Greek yogurt instead of sour cream as your base for your dips.
Vegetables make great sandwiches too. Try using Boston or iceberg lettuce instead of bread to wrap up your fish or meat.
Remember also that vegetables are no stranger to the grill. Levinson said, “For delicious side dishes or skewers, grill vegetables like mushrooms, corn on the cob, asparagus, artichokes, eggplant, onions, scallions, and cherry tomatoes." I personally like to load up the grill with zucchini.
Do not forget dessert, but opt for something healthy. LiveStrong.com suggested going back to the basics for dessert.
“To serve healthy foods for a picnic, you should base your selections around nature's bounty. Go to the farmer's market or grocery store and pick up a large selection of fresh fruits.”
Delicious berries, melons, peaches and more exotic fruits like kiwis and mangos really make for a tempting treat. I like to spice up dessert with fruit kabobs, layering a stick with honey dew, cantaloupe and pineapple, then throwing them on the grill.
LiveStrong.com said to “switch up your beverage choices as well and stay away from sugary sodas, fruit juices and high-calorie alcoholic beverages, which all contain many empty calories.“
I like to think fruits and veggies to complement my drink selection as well. Delicious cucumbers really add a refreshing blend to ice water.