Ditch the meat-fest at your backyard barbie this summer. Dietitian Brooke Longfield shows how to sizzle your way to a healthy, balanced meal.
Swap hamburger patties for lean steak
Why it’s better… Premade burger patties are usually higher in saturated fat than the equivalent amount of lean steak. Keep portions small — about 100g (raw), which is the size of your palm. Better still, opt for skinless chicken or firm fish fillets, such as salmon.
Swap sausages for prawns
Why it’s better… Prawns have half the kilojoules and a fraction of the saturated fat of sausages. And try coating your seafood in olive oil, fresh garlic and herbs rather than using a bottled marinade, which can be high in salt.
Swap potato salad for garden salad
Why it’s better… The creamy dressing in a potato salad is high in fat and kilojoules! Instead, try filling half your plate with a garden salad of mixed leaves, tomato, cucumber and carrot — and stick to a simple olive oil and vinegar dressing.
Swap barbecue sauce for caramelised onions
Why it’s better… Cooked onions provide a sweet flavour without the added sugar and salt that you’ll find in a bottled sauce. (A spoonful of bottled sauce is half sugar.) Plus, the onions will boost your vegie intake. Bonus!
Swap white bread for grilled corn
Why it’s better… A cob of corn has 7g fibre, about a quarter of your daily requirements, and counts as two serves of veg, in your target of five a day. A slice of white bread has just 1g fibre, so is less satisfying with little nutrients.
Three tips to a healthier barbecue
Turn down the heat: Black, charred, overcooked meat creates by-products that can harm your health.
Choose lean cuts: Rump steaks and eye-fillets are good choices; just trim away any visible fat.
DIY marinade: Acidic lemon juice or vinegar breaks down tough fibres in meat, keeping it tender.
Healthy barbecue bites
Avocado: Grill half an avo, flesh-side down, then carefully scoop out the warm and smoky flesh.
Stone fruit: Caramelise peach and nectarine halves and add them to salads.
Asparagus: Drizzle crisp spears with olive oil and chargrill until tender.
Cos lettuce: Pop a wedge of cos lettuce on the hotplate until grill marks appear.
Pineapple: Dust pineapple wedges with cinnamon, and then barbecue for a sweet end to the meal.