For many people, the month of May means the end of the school year and the turning point to summer weather. But May is also National Barbecue Month, just in time for Memorial Day. This month’s designation is an opportunity to rethink the way we grill out and make healthier and more natural choices with what we make for backyard parties and neighborhood gatherings.
Read on for inspiration about how to embrace National Barbecue Month for better health and a more sustainable lifestyle.
Choose Healthier Recipes
Some people don’t think about BBQ foods being healthy foods, but grilling is actually one of the healthiest ways that you can prepare a meal. Focus your grilling sessions on fresh vegetables, fish, and tofu to provide healthy options for your guests. In addition to what you put on the grill, serve healthy sides, such as salads with spinach and kale, appetizers like carrots and hummus, and a fresh fruit tray.
Here are some recipes to try for your next cookout: Healthy Recipe Ideas for Your Backyard Summer BBQ
Use a Gas or Electric Grill
If you are a sustainability-minded grill master, consider ditching the old charcoal grill and using an electric or gas grill instead. Charcoal grills create a larger carbon footprint because of how they are manufactured, how their fuel is transported, and because of their emissions. You can also choose sustainable meat options by checking labels for designations like “organic” and “certified humane.”
Choose Reusable Serving Supplies
Plastic plates, cups, and utensils may be convenient for clean-up, but they aren’t any good for the environment. Instead, opt for reusable supplies that you can wash and use again for future backyard barbecues. Not only will this swap help you reduce landfill waste, but it will also give your gathering a more sophisticated vibe.
Serve Flavor-Infused Water
It’s easy to take down a few beers around the barbecue grill while catching up with good friends. But to make your gathering healthier, encourage everyone to drink more water to stay hydrated out in the sun. To make plain water more enticing, you can infuse your water with slices of oranges, lemons, limes, cucumber, or mint. Then, serve the infused water in large carafes so that you aren’t generating plastic waste from disposable water bottles.
Plan to Get Active
Although there is something to be said about relaxing at a barbecue party, it’s also fun to get your guests up out of their chairs and active too. Plan some activities for your gathering that do not revolve around food, such as playing yard games and sports. Even if you don’t have a large yard space, you could set up a game of badminton, cornhole, kickball, or other game that both kids and adults would enjoy.