We recently wrote a blog post about healthy barbecue options, but what happens when you’re invited over to someone else’s house for a cookout? We know that not everyone is as health-conscious about what they eat, and it would be impolite to decline out of fear of not having enough healthy food choices.
Luckily, with a little tact, you can find ways to go to all the barbecues you want without having to worry about not having enough to eat. Here are a few tips to help make the most of the summer cookout season.
- Offer to bring food: Summer cookouts are often potlucks, which means everybody brings a little something to share. This is a great opportunity to prepare a dish that’s both healthy and delicious, and will also ensure you have something to eat. Salads, for example, are easy to prepare in large quantities, and can be extremely versatile. Of course, be sure to bring enough to share!
- Try to eat beforehand: Before heading out to a cookout where the food is likely to be outside your usual diet, fill up on healthy snacks or have a fulling, nutritious meal. This will avoid food envy caused by hunger, and will help you avoid caving into temptation.
- Fill up on fruit: Summer is a great time for fruit melons, cherries, peaches, nectarines, berries. Because fruit is mostly water, they tend to be very filling. Plus, they are often rich with essential vitamins and minerals. Many, though not all, cookouts will have a fruit salad. If you need to, see our first tip and bring your own. Also, grilled peaches and nectarines. Yum!
- Be polite, but persistent: When offered something that doesn’t fit your diet, don’t be afraid to politely decline it. A simple and cheery, No thanks, should do the trick. If pressed, feel free to be honest about your diet choices. But be sure not to shame your friends for their food choices.
- Eat small portions: It can be challenging not to indulge when everyone at a party is eating unhealthy food. If necessary and there are no other options, indulge, but in great moderation. This should really just be a last resort, though. Nibble just enough to keep hunger pangs away, and have a more complete meal later at home.
Looking for ideas for healthier eating? Schedule a visit with one our functional medicine specialists and we’ll develop a personalized plan to ensure you get as much nutrition out of every bite as you can!