Memorial Day weekend is here, which means an extra day off of work, the
pool is opening and the last day of school is approaching. All of these things in
turn mean it’s finally time for summer cookouts.
What to eat:
Photo: Peter Ardito
●Half of your plate should be…you guessed it! Fruits and vegetables. Berries
are so delicious this time of year – you can even go patriotic: blueberries,
blackberries and strawberries. Yum!
●Hamburger vs hot dogs: sorry hot dog lovers, burgers win (but neither are
super great). Burgers tend to have increased amounts of protein, zinc and
iron and lower sodium.1 Healthier burger options: skip the bun and mayo,
and choose lean meat.
●If you’re like me and the meal sides are your favorite part of the cookout,
watch your portion size and find substitutes for the mayo in your potato
and macaroni salads (like Greek yogurt or avocado).
●Food safety: at your outdoor cookouts, don’t leave food out for more than
two hours after serving. Don’t leave out for more than one hour if it’s 90°F or
●Check out MyPlate for more information on what your plate should look like
at your summer cookouts.
●Find some fun, healthier cookout recipes here.
What to wear:
●Sunscreen! Since it’s not as hot as the Fourth of July or Labor Day, it can be
easy to forget to put on sunscreen. You should protect your face every day,
but in the summer especially it’s best to use SPF 30 or 45. Reapply often!
●Bug spray. If you’re like me and bugs seem to bite you even when they’re just
looking at you, bug spray is a must. Don’t forget to wash your hands after
What to drink:
If you’re 21 or older and planning to enjoy an adult beverage or two, here are
some things to think about:
●Hydrate with water ALL DAY. The best choice is to match your drink with a
glass of water.
●Find lower calorie options by making your own cocktail using soda water
or fresh lime juice.
●If you’re a beer drinker, go light.
●A list of Shape Magazine’s Best Low-Calorie Cocktails for Summer can be
●Don’t drive – drink responsibly.
Happy summer, y’all!