The EatSmart Blog

Providing Tools and Tips to Live Healthier, Happier Lives

The Secrets to a Successful and Healthy Summer BBQ

The Secrets to a Successful and Healthy Summer BBQHosting a barbecue is an exciting part of the summertime. What’s more fun than spending outside in the sunshine enjoying seasonal food and drinks with friends and family? However, if you’re the host, it can be a bit stressful to plan the perfect party. We’ve put together a list of “must have” items and tools to make it easier as well as some ideas on what to serve at the BBQ.

There’s no need to sacrifice your healthy habits, food can be flavorful and healthy. We have some great recipes on the Eatsmart Blog. We particularly recommend our 5 Guilt Free Recipes for Labor Day Grilling, Warm Potato and Edamame Salad and Broccoli Salad. We also have tips on how to slimdown your burger while keeping it juicy!

fruit salFor dessert, a fruit dish such as Tangerine Honey Vanilla Fruit Salad is a cool and refreshing choice. Brownies are always a crowd pleaser and 99 Calorie Skinny Brownies is a waist friendly recipe. Kids of all ages will enjoy cooling off with a refreshing Homemade Popsicle!

Serving items family or buffet style makes it easy for guests to serve themselves, leaving you time to mingle. Prepping food earlier in the week cuts down on running around the day of the party. It also eliminates the risk of needing to run back to the store the day of your party for last minute ingredients.

Here are some important “to do” items and when to address them:

Two weeks prior

  • Get a head count. This will allow you to shop and finalize your menu.
  • Check your barbecue. Is it working normally? Do you have enough propane or charcoal?
  • Check the battery on your Precision Pro Digital Food Thermometer. A properly working food thermometer allows you to expertly cook your meat and eliminates guessing when it’s ready to serve.
  • Plan your menu. What will you serve and what can be made in advance?
  • Make a party music play list. If you have a theme, choose appropriate tunes.

    Photo by The IE Mommy.

    Photo by The IE Mommy.

A few days prior

  • Set up the yard. Make sure it’s neat and tidy and that you have enough seating or have rented what you will need. Put out extra trash cans and appropriate lighting.
  • Food shop. Don’t forget condiments, wet naps and tableware! Paper towels are absorbent and easy to put out on tables in lieu of napkins. Use sturdy plastic or compostable cutlery, plates and cups.
  • Be sure to have soft drinks in addition to any alcoholic beverages that you will be serving.
  • Make any dishes that can be prepped ahead of time. Our Precision Elite Digital Kitchen Scale makes it easy to measure out ingredients in one bowl, cutting down on clean up. The scale’s generous platform easily accommodates large bowls needed to feed a crowd.

    Photo by The PennyWise Mama

    Photo by The PennyWise Mama

The day of your BBQ

  • Set out tableware and serving utensils.
  • Finish prepping any side dishes, green salad and fresh appetizers or desserts.
  • Marinate your meats.
  • Get ice for your coolers. Put out coolers or buckets with ice and chill your drinks.
  • Set up your music and speakers.
  • Put out bug repellant and citronella candles.

A little planning takes the stress out of your BBQ so you can enjoy your party. Your friends and family will appreciate healthy recipes that taste fantastic and you’ll be happy knowing that everyone is eating smart!

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