By Curtis Sheppard
Healthy summer eating
For most Canadians, summer means spending time outdoors soaking up the warm, sunny weather with family and friends.
And because of the warmer temperatures, many of us prefer eating on the go or grilling outdoors instead of cooking in a hot kitchen. But preparing quick and easy meals doesn’t mean sacrificing flavour or good nutrition.
Use the tips below to help you and your family plan healthy summer meals without breaking a sweat.
Healthy summer eating on the go
Hitting the road for summer holidays? Make healthy eating a breeze by planning healthy meals and snacks before leaving home.
For picnics and trips, pack the four food groups , like bite-sized veggies, whole grain crackers, cheese cubes, and nuts. Get the kids involved by asking them to help plan and pack the picnic.
Heading to the lake or going camping? Plan your meals before you leave. You’ll spend less time in the grocery store and more time having fun!
Going hiking or on a road trip? Take healthy snacks to keep you fueled all day long. Try veggie sticks, fruit, homemade trail mix, muffins, yogurt, and sandwiches. Use ice packs to keep cold food cold.
Don’t leave home without a bottle of water. Water is the perfect drink on a hot summer day.
Healthy summer eating at home
Another popular summer tradition is barbecuing. Here are a few tips for healthy summer grilling.
Barbecuing tonight? Grill extra veggies, fish, tofu, or lean meat for lunch tomorrow.
Store-bought marinades and sauces are often high in sugar or sodium. Make your own delicious and healthy marinades using lemon, fresh herbs, garlic, onion, and spices.
Barbecuing isn’t just for meat and veggies. Grilled fruit is a healthy, delicious, and naturally-sweet dessert. Try grilling fresh peach slices and serving them with lower-fat yogurt.
Did you know?
Health Canada, the Retail Council of Canada , the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers and participating grocery stores are collaborating to bring healthy eating tips and tools to shoppers ― right in-store!
Healthy no-cook meals and snacks
Beat the heat with these healthy, no-cook summer meals and snacks. Choosing heat-free recipes also means you’ll spend less time in the kitchen, and more time enjoying the outdoors.
Short on time? Throw together a quick and easy salad with lower-sodium canned beans and corn, brown rice, and sweet peppers.
Feed a big group in record time by serving a platter of cherry tomatoes, cucumber, broccoli, carrots, whole grain pitas, cheese, and hummus.
Impress your guests with a Caprese salad. Layer thick slices of tomato, buffalo mozzarella, and fresh basil leaves. Top with a tiny drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Grocery shopping for healthy summer foods
Did you know?
Using the Percent Daily Value (% DV) on the Nutrition Facts Table of packaged foods will help you choose healthier kinds of burgers, salad dressings, and condiments.
Turn grocery shopping into a fun, family field trip. You’ll spend quality time together while building healthy eating habits.
Add lots of colour and crunch to your cart. Summer is a great time for vibrant, fresh salads and savoury, grilled veggies. Visit your local grocery store or farmers’ market to find out what’s in season.
Stock up on brown rice, quinoa, chick peas, and whole grain pasta. They make great summer salads when tossed with fresh veggies.