Don’t Be Bad Because of Dad

Every year, Father’s Day falls somewhere in the direct vicinity of the first day of summer and this year – it’s the day before.

With temperatures rising, the celebrations usually move themselves outside. What better way to celebrate dad than with a BBQ? But while meat and cheese might be your pop’s main food groups, a cook out doesn’t necessarily have to mean a pig out.

Believe it or not, you can do pretty well at a backyard bash!

For Starters…

Remember that these things start the moment you walk in the door. The minute you walk in the door, (or back to the yard,) you’re met with a chorus of “hellos” and an assault of smells and an onslaught of yummy treats. Start off right and don’t jump in to it right away. You definitely don’t have to deny every offer, but if for example instead of kicking it off with a cocktail say, “you know, I’m so thirsty, I’d love some water.” Don’t arrive ravenous and you can start eating when the burgers come off the grill.

Choose Wisely

People – stop torturing yourselves! If you want the hot dog, have the hot dog! If you want the burger, have the burger – bun and all! If the alluring smell of the grill is just too much to resist, don’t put yourself through the punishment of depriving yourself of your craving. Allow yourself the burger, and in this case more is more. Adding crisp lettuce, tomatoes, any veggies and that’ll make your meal more substantial and satisfying. And this is not to saydon’tgo for the grilled chicken if that’s what you’re really craving as well, just don’t opt out of what you truly want for the sake of saving face. What’s likely to happen if you do that is you’ll end up picking and popping all the wrong things, 2,000 calories later – you could’ve had the burger with cheese for a lot less.

Set Ground Rules

The bounty of the BBQ appetizers is plentiful. Since they’re so informal, folks tend to bring endless offerings as their contribution. From the chips and dips, and the myriad of salads whose dressing consists of mostly mayo, the temptation runs far and wide. Completely avoiding any of these forbidden fruits might be an unreasonable goal, so go with a game plan and set some rules. Never nosh anything while standing and only eat it if it’s on a plate or cocktail napkin. This conquers the phenomena known as “mindless munching” and if you really stick to it, I’ll bet chatting and running around will win out over plopping and picking.

Plus, you’ll get a chance to hang out with dear old dad without thinking about your damn old diet.

Heather Bauer, RD CDN
Heather Bauer, RD CDN


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