Summer brings backyard BBQ's, camping trips, and time in the sun! Luckily, there are many "quick grab" options that are better choices to choose when summer social gatherings occur. Reading Nutrition Facts tables at the grocery store can help you make the most of summer activities while still nourishing your body.
For meat products, like sausages and burgers, my priority is to choose a product with less total fat per serving. Comparing the sausages in the photo, you can see the Freybe's sausage on the right has much less fat per serving. Simply reading the Nutrition Facts table can help you stick to your nutrition goals without compromising convenience or flavor!
- Freybe's Turkey and Chicken Sausage at Costco
- Connie's Kitchen at Costco. Flavors include: "Mango & Jalapeno" and "Feta & Spinach"
- President's Choice Blue Menu Original Smokies at Loblaw's stores
- Compliments Balance Smoked Sausage at Sobeys
More often than not, the BBQs I attend are spontaneous and after an active day in the sunshine. When we are hungry we are never up for assembling homemade burgers. In this situation, I read labels to chose a burger with fewer grams of fat per serving.
Some other favorites:
- Sobeys' brand Compliments makes a Lean Beef Burgers and Chicken Burger
- President's Choice Lean Angus Burger which can be found at Loblaw's stores
- Trident Wild Pacific Salmon Burgers at Costco.
Chips are in abundance at any BBQ, camping trip, or lake day. Standing and socializing by the table of chips and dip will make you much more likely to overeat! My number one tip for avoiding the snack table is to physically situate yourself out of arm's reach. But if you know you will want to snack, consider an alternative. Air-popped or purchased popcorn (like the brand Buddha Bowl!) make a higher fibre and lower fat alternative to chips. Other ideas include:
- Spokes Snacks
- Crispy Minis
- Buddha Bowl Popcorn (high in fibre!)
- Che Cha Puffs
Better yet, pick up a veggie tray with a fibre-packed dip like hummus to crunch on!
Look for alternatives, like Buddha Bowl, with less total fat and calories per serving.
If you are like me, you have a sweet tooth! While there is nothing wrong with an ice cream cone from your favorite shop, there are also lower calorie alternatives if you prefer. Some favorites include:
- Skyr Yogurt Bars at Loblaws
- Greek Yogurt or Fudge Bars at Costco
- Halo Top Ice Cream
- Breyer's Delight
- Cool Way
Be mindful of how calories from beverages add up. Drinking your calories isn’t as satisfying as eating your calories! While water is your best choice to stay hydrated, there are some "better" alternatives to soda or sugar-sweetened beverages on a hot summer day. Consider the spectrum of options. While diet soda contains sweeteners and additives, it is a better option to sugar sweetened sodas. If you love the "bubbly" sensation of soda, consider club soda which contains flavoring and carbonation but no artificial sweeteners. You can spruce it up with fresh lime or lemons! Read Nutrition Facts table to choose a beverage with zero calories and sugar.
High Protein Snacks
If you know you are "on-the-go" over the weekend, consider travel-friendly, high protein snacks like protein bars or beef jerky. Select a protein bar with more protein and fibre and less calories and sugar. Some favorite brands include:
- Quest bars
- ONE bar
- Oatmeal Gold bars in flavor "Natural"
- Fit Joy bar
- Grenade bar
- Kirkland protein bar (when in stock).
In the photo below, the Kirkland protein bar as more fibre and protein and less sugar than the Clif bar.
Summer is the best season and enjoying food with friends and family makes it that much better. You can still reach your nutrition goals, manage your weight, and nourish your body without missing out on all that summer has to offer. Consider reading Nutrition Facts tables to make informed choices at the grocery store. The smallest changes can have the biggest impact!