If high-fat chips and dips are the usual mainstay of a barbecue, try serving the best of nutritious California foods for a fresh change, suggests the California Dietetic Assn.
"To make a barbecue its healthiest, try offering foods from the nutrient-based food groups: milk, meat, vegetables and fruits, breads and cereals," registered dietitian Cheryl Loggins says.
The dietetic association offers the following list of barbecue favorites, which can add valuable nutrients to a balanced diet:
Milk group: milk, sliced cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese salad with raisins and pineapple.
Meat group: grilled abalone, chicken, hamburgers, fish or lobster tails, baked beans or deviled eggs.
Vegetables and fruits: corn on the cob, baked potato, potato salad, coleslaw, carrot and celery sticks, watermelon, plums, peaches and apricots.
Breads and cereals: macaroni salad, hot rolls, French bread, corn muffins, bread sticks and crackers.
The average healthy adult needs two daily servings each from the milk and meat groups and four daily servings from the vegetables/fruits and breads/cereals groups. The dietetic group suggests including servings from all four nutrient-based food groups when planning a party menu.