by Tonya Pendleton, BlackAmericaWeb.com
USE THE GRILL
Who doesn’t like to grill during the summertime? The great thing about grilling is that it’s one of the best ways to eat healthy if you grill the right things. We know it’s hard for some people, but one of the first things you can do is substitute high-fat meat products with less-fatty choices. That means instead of steak, pork and beef, grill fish, turkey and chicken burgers and hot dogs. Most supermarkets have a good quantity of turkey products, and in the case of burgers, you can always find ground turkey and make your own. Grilled vegetables are delicious if seasoned well. If you think folks won’t come to your cookout without the ribs and steak they’re used to, you can always put the turkey products on for you and your family, and serve the rest to guests.
REDUCE OR ELIMINATE SUGAR
Ahhh, the taste of sweet tea or Kool-Aid in the summertime. Who can resist that? Well, if you are trying to encourage your family to eat healthier, eliminating sugary drinks is one of the easiest (and most cost-effective) things to do.
Keep a pitcher of ice water with lemons or oranges in the refrigerator at all times, and drink from that. Encourage your kids to do the same. Freshly prepared ice-teas and lemonades made from scratch are better calorie-wise than sugary sodas and fruit juices. When in doubt, check labels to see how many calories a single serving of most sodas and juices are, and then multiply. If bottles of soda disappear quickly in your house, that could be hundreds of calories with little nutritional value that are making it hard for you and your family to lose weight.
Stock your home with healthy fruits. Their high water content will keep kids (and parents) from feeling thirsty.
Summertime can be a great time to teach your family healthy snacking. Ice cream pops are everywhere, but instead of buying high-fat ice cream, you can turn healthy snacking into a fun family project. Homemade ice pops are easy to make, and you can find various recipes and molds for them online. That way you control ingredients, sugar content and more – and it becomes something fun and relatively inexpensive to do.
Other summer snacks include fruits like cherries, which are in season and can be frozen for an alternative to summer candy. Bananas can be frozen also, and other fruits can be used for healthy smoothies for easy breakfasts.
COOK MORE, BUT COOK SMART
In the summertime, no one wants to be a slave to a hot stove. Using recipes with a George Foreman grill or grill pan (a frying pan with grill indentations) can be an easy way to do more cooking without having to stand over a hot oven. Turkey and chicken burgers can be quickly grilled, as can veggies. You can also grill various kinds of fish quickly and easily. Campbell Soup has some great easy summer recipes using their family of products and arranging recipes via cooking times. If you have an iPhone or Blackberry, you can use the All Recipes app to find recipes using ingredients on hand.
If you have a crock pot, you may be surprised at the amount of recipes you can make using this very handy appliance. Crock pot meals can be made overnight, and there are a wealth of easy recipes that can feed your whole family healthily and cheaply.
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