Summer! Time for ice cream, summer cocktails, potato salad and hot dogs. It is that time of year when healthy eating can become a challenge. Don’t let the summer parties and BBQs cause you to fall off track of maintaining a healthy diet. At the same time, don’t deprive yourself of your favorite summertime treats. Moderation and balance are key!

BYO. Bring a healthy dish so you know you’ll have at least one nutritious option for yourself and to share!

Fresh produce. Fill your plate with some fresh, locally grown grilled vegetables. Choose more nutritious options first, then save some room for indulgences. Load up with refreshing and hydrating fresh fruits, this can even help with digestion after a meal.

Choose lean proteins. Go for grilled chicken or turkey if available instead of red meats for less fat and lower cholesterol. If you are craving a burger or hot dog, try having it with a whole grain bun for added fiber.

Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water will not only keep you hydrated in the heat but will also help you to feel satiated and maintain portion control.

Burn it off. With the longer days and warmer temps, there is no excuse not to run around in the sprinkler after a meal or go for a stroll after dinner.

Jennifer BouChamoun, RD