There is nothing like a family BBQ on a warm summer evening! Hot dogs and hamburgers are always popular, but why not try getting creative with some other fun and healthy family-friendly recipe ideas. Choosing a menu that can be prepared and cooked completely outdoors on the grill allows for an easier cleanup and more family fun time spent together.
Meat/fish and vegetable skewers are such an easy option. Try different proteins such as chicken, beef or salmon and vegetables such as zucchini, peppers, cherry tomatoes and/or onions to add a variety of colours and flavours. Having your kids help make the skewers is a great way to get them involved in the meal preparation process. After the food is cut into equal size chunks (something your kids can even do if they are old enough), let them sort the food into different colours and practice patterning on the skewers. Getting your kids involved is not only a fun activity, but it’s also a way for them to learn about cooking and healthy eating.
Potatoes and/or sweet potatoes are a great side option. They are filled with fibre, vitamins and minerals. Poke a few holes and then wrap the potatoes/sweet potatoes in tinfoil and let them cook for about 45 minutes on the grill until they feel soft all the way through. My favourite way to eat them is with sour cream and green onions or fresh chives. Ontario corn is another one of my favourite barbecue sides. Shucking corn to get it ready to grill is another great activity your kids can do to not only help you, but also to learn about vegetables; how they grow and how food looks before it appears on their plate. Shucking can be a little messy, so it is a great outdoor activity. Once shucked, the corn can go directly onto the grill for 12-15 minutes. It cooks to perfection!
There are even a great deal of dessert options that can be cooked outside right on the grill. Fruit is a delicious option to try. I especially like grilled peaches and pineapple. The slight char on each side balances the sweet flavour perfectly. If you are looking for something a bit sweeter, try a s’mores rollup. Children love to both make and eat these. Grab a tortilla (preferably whole grain) and add chocolate chips and marshmallows. Roll it up, wrap it in tinfoil and place it on the grill briefly until warm and melted inside. Sit outside, enjoy the warm weather and savour the delicious meal your family has created from start to finish solely on the grill.
Check out our market fresh potato salad, a perfect addition to any family BBQ
Eat well, be well,
Emma Minden, Registered Dietitian, Wholesome GO