Summer Grilling with the KidsFit Program

Summer Grilling with the KidsFit ProgramThe smells of summer: sunscreen, salty beach air, and a sizzling grill! Both charcoal and gas grills are healthy methods of switching up cooking for the family without adding extra fat. Here are some ways to add delicious, nutritious options next to those juicy burgers at the next backyard BBQ!

  • Choose to grill lean cuts of meats like skinless chicken breast and loin cuts from beef and pork. Heart healthy fish, like salmon or tilapia, grilled in foil and served with a squeeze of lemon are also great grilled protein options!
  • Add veggies where you can. Washed lettuce leaves, sliced tomatoes, and grilled mushrooms are a great addition to burgers and grilled chicken sandwiches.
  • Switch the chips. Serve your favorite dips with crunchy veggies like carrots, cucumbers, celery, and cauliflower.
  • Speaking of dips, swap mayonnaise and sour cream for plain non-fat Greek yogurt in your dip or salad recipes, like coleslaw or macaroni salad, to cut back on saturated fat and add a boost of protein for your young athlete.
  • Sweeten things up with grilled fruit and try our [insert hyperlink] “Grilled Peach with Yogurt Drizzle” recipe! You can also grill watermelon slices for 2 minutes per side and top with fresh mint.
  • Don’t forget the whole grains! Aim for whole grain burger buns with at least 4 grams of fiber per serving. Additionally, try whole grain Rotini pasta for a nutritious boost to pasta salad!

Every Grill Master needs a sous chef! Prepping foods can be a fun way for the whole family to participate in the grilling process. Here are some hands-on activities for your child in the kitchen:

  • Spread out broccoli and cauliflower florets, sliced zucchini and carrots on a large piece of tin foil. Drizzle with olive or avocado oil and sprinkle with minced garlic, black pepper, dried thyme, and oregano. Wrap the foil into a packet and shake to evenly distribute all the yummy seasonings. An adult should grill the tin foil packet for 20-25 minutes.
  • Under supervision, older children can chop and thread chunks of vegetables onto skewers for grilling. Try zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, colorful bell peppers, and Portobello mushrooms. Tip: Soak wooden or bamboo skewers in water for 20 minutes to prevent them from burning on the grill.

Switching up animal and plant-based protein sources incorporates a variety of nutrients beneficial to your young athlete. Try out these fun burger recipes for a twist on the traditional beef burger.

Learn more about our KidsFit pediatric weight management and wellness program .