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Kick Off Summer With a Healthy BBQ

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(Mic Smith/Feature Photo Service)

What better way to celebrate another successful school year wrapping up and the start of summer than a barbeque? Kicking the summer season off on the right foot can help ensure the rest of your family’s summer follows the same healthy pattern. So this month, use the recipes and ideas below to get your family, neighbors and friends together for an afternoon of grilling, enjoying healthy summer treats, and getting active with some favorite backyard games!


Grilled Turkey Burgers (makes 4 burger patties)

  • 1lb lean ground turkey
  • ¼ cup diced sweet bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard (or try spicy brown mustard for a little more spice!)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of your favorite dried spice! Rosemary, oregano or basil are all yummy options!

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly, then separate in to four burger patties. Mixing and patting the burgers is a great way to get your kids involved (just remember to wash those hands)! Once the patties are made, place on a hot grill. After 4-5 minutes, flip the burgers and continue cooking until the turkey is fully cooked through (and not pink in the middle). Add a slice of cheese and a whole wheat burger bun to top everything off!

Healthy Sides

Side dishes are arguably the best part of any meal! Here are some of our favorite healthy sides that will fit right in for your barbeque!

  • Fresh watermelon wedges
  • Corn on the cob
  • Pear salsa
  • Fresh salad
  • Grilled asparagus

N’ice Cream (makes 2-3 servings)

What’s a barbeque without something sweet at the end? And as the temperatures are increasing, what better way to stay cool than with some healthy n’ice cream!

Ingredients for n’ice cream base:

  • ¼ cup low-fat milk
  • 1 ¼ cups frozen, sliced banana
  • ½ tablespoon pure maple syrup

Ingredients for different flavors:

  • Make it vanilla! Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Make it chocolate! Add 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • Make it peanut butter! Add 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • Make it strawberry! Add ¼ cup of frozen sliced strawberries, and 2 tablespoons more milk

Directions: Combine all in a blender and blend for 30-45 seconds until frozen fruit is smooth! Add more milk in small amounts as needed.

Backyard BBQ Games

Once you’ve decided on the healthy BBQ treats, it’s time to plan for the games! Below are some of our favorite backyard games to keep the kids (and adults!) active and cool on a hot summer day.


Join up with other families to plan a back-to-school BBQ with these recipes to get the year off to a healthy, fun start.

Create a recipe for healthy change at your school by committing to start a conversation with others who are also interested in ensuring there is a strong culture of health. Then identify a few simple things you all can do to start making that change.

One simple way to get started: Host a taste test with your child’s classroom and show off your new healthy BBQ skills.