Get Fired Up! Top Tips to Create a Healthy Family BBQ

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School may be back in session, but the summer season isn’t quite over yet, friends! I am fully committed to soaking up every last ounce of sunshine I can before fall officially kicks in…although, let’s be real, living in Arizona means we practically get a year-round summer?perks of AZ living!

Even with back-to-school on our minds, it’s not too late to enjoy those quality outdoor moments together as a family. I’m getting fired up (pun intended) with Labor Day right around the corner. A backyard BBQ is kind of our unofficial Powell fam tradition for this weekend, and I can’t wait for one last hurrah before temps start to (slowly) cool off!

Whether you’re holding on to every last second of summer or if you’re preparing to say goodbye to everyone’s favorite season until next year rolls around, I’ve put together my best tips for how you can create a healthy (and fun!) family BBQ to do it up right!

How to Create + Eat Healthy at a Family BBQ | 5 Easy Steps

1. Pick Your Protein: You can’t have a BBQ without the meat! Correction: You absolutely can,?but in our house, it’s a staple! Figure out your main dish from burgers to chicken and steaks to seafood and choose the protein or protein(s)?you’ll be grilling up! And if you’ve got transformation goals, here is an awesome tip to help you choose the your BBQ protein: Look for ?loin? (top loin, top sirloin, pork loin, tenderloin, center loin) and ?round? (eye of round, top round, bottom round, round tip) on the label. If you’re vegetarian, swapping a burger for a portobello mushroom is sure to give you all the BBQ weekend vibes! Bonus: Our app has tons of recipes for you to enjoy too!

Click here for the Powell-Approved BLT Burger and Sweet Potato Fries.

2. Make it Colorful (Eat Your Veggies): Have you ever noticed how gorgeous a tray of vegetables can be? Those colors are an easy way to make your meal look Pinterest-ready with little effort! Get creative with your sides and make selections that are sure to be a hit!

Whether you chop up raw veggies to snack on while the grill master does his (or her) job, or you shock everyone with how delicious kale chips can be, veggies will be your real MVP at any BBQ. Not only are veggies full of vitamins and minerals, but they’ll actually help you feel fuller, faster, and keep you feeling fuller, longer so you’re less likely to grab seconds once dessert roles around.

3. Grill Fruits for Dessert: Dessert is possibly the best part of a BBQ! It’s no secret that I have a bit of a sweet tooth (Marshmallow Dream Bar, anyone?), and no backyard BBQ is complete without a little something sweet at the end to celebrate all your hard work for pulling off a great party. But just because you indulge in a little sweetness doesn’t mean you have to throw away all the hard work you’ve put into creating a healthy feast. Instead of pulling out the cakes or pie, opt for something a little lighter.

One of our favorite sweets hacks is grilling fruits right along with the burgers on the grill. Our faves? Pineapple or bananas. Throw them over some “nice” cream for an amazingly cool treat!

Click here for my favorite nice cream recipe.

4. Set Up Outdoor Activities: A lot of times the main focus at a BBQ is food, but I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be! Set up plenty of activities for all your guests or family members to participate in that don’t involve eating. One of my favorite things to do as a kid was to turn the sprinklers on and run like wild through them. Sound familiar? Whether you set up sprinklers, play on a slip ‘n slide, have a water balloon fight, or dip in the pool, it’s a great way to enjoy the day without overindulging.

5. Drink Water: Just like any day, be sure to drink plenty of water! Not only will it help keep you hydrated and healthy in the summer heat, but it will also help you stay full and energized so you can focus your time on having fun and not feeling sluggish. If you’re someone who struggles with drinking water, add some fruit or a boost shot to your water.

Click here for more tips on how to drink water when you don’t like the taste.

Summer Sizzle Labor Day Giveaway:

Let’s make the most out of Labor Day and also make sure your family looks stylish (and sustainable…yes, you guys, these towels are sustainably made) while we’re at it! I’m giving away a Powell Pack-Approved Set of Towels!

3 lucky winners will get 2 Hilasal Beach Towels (each towel’s retail value $30)

Here’s how to enter:

  • Like and comment on my most recent Instagram or Facebook post.
  • Then, in the blog comments below, let me know what hurdle you hope to overcome this BBQ season. Giveaway ends Tuesday, September 3, at midnight PST, and the winners will be announced on Wednesday!

Although I’m sad that summer is coming to an end, I’m also so excited for everything that fall brings! If you do end up planning a late summer BBQ (or Labor Day celebration!), hopefully, these tips come in handy to help you create the perfect farewell to summer party! Before you know it, we’ll all be rushing to get our Pumpkin Spice Lattes. 😉


Related reading:

Spring Break Savory & Sweet Treats || BBQ Chicken Pita Pizza & One-Minute Brownie
Prep, Plan, and Party: 4 Tips for Diet Success At Every Event
Honey Lime Grilled Chicken + Plantain Chips w/ Black Bean Avocado Dip
Beach Babes Family Fun Workout for Kids
Back to School Workout Ideas: From Toddlers to Teens to You!
Mommy & Me Tabata Workout

48 Responses

  1. We are moving soon. So I am going to stick to packing and purging unhealthy foods and stuff from my life before I move.I let the kids pick their own Treat food and keep it with them so it?s not hanging around on the table.Going to head out for some swimming tomorrow. Lots of proteinsAnd salads for me for the next few months.Love your vacuum twist move by the way. So easy ,no excuse not to do it. Thanks for all the inspiration. I have to stay healthy and take care of myself so that I can raise these grandchildren. And be around to see them grow and be successful

  2. My offer hurdle I would say is to stay clear of any junk food. Eat as healthy as I can. And not over eat! Drinking lots of water only, and indulging in the better foods and learning to stay away from the unhealthy foods, while still enjoying myself!

  3. Overindulging & snacking! Having a good time and enjoying family and friends seems to make me eat more. Way more than I realize. Trying to be VERY conscious this time!

  4. Not overindulging in both food and “drink”. I am going to remember to have extra water and make sure to enjoy my watermelon boost shot so I don’t feel like I’m missing out!

  5. Enjoying family time I always get caught up in cooking and cleaning that I forget spending time with my family is just as important

  6. Love cooking on the bbq. And year round here in Phoenix. I look forward to grilling more veggies and also new marinades. And to those who run up against the alcohol hurdle – you can do it. Just over one year alcohol-free for me and feeling great!! Have a great holiday weekend everyone and stay safe!!

  7. I just plan to stay on track not really doing much just fix dinner and enjoy family maybe some yard work it?s high carb day so it will be good!!

  8. Hoping to find an alternative to my alcohol intake. I know there are a lot of new seltzer based drinks.

    1. My hurdle is always sweets. So staying away from those. Keeping up my workouts through the weekend and just sticking to my guns.

  9. I hope to overcome the snack food. The chips and cookies. Instead I hope to stay strong and focus on the healthy items…..veggies and fruit.

  10. My hurdle is getting back into working out again. I haven’t had the drive to in nearly two years. As I type my body is sore from my workout yesterday. 4 weeks back into it and I am starting to notice little body changes! My kids love to watch me work out and mostly it’s a mental release that I need every day.

  11. My hurdle I have every summer is not to drink as much alcohol, At 10 years old I knew my weight was a problem (160) nothing crazy but knew enough to always try to be accountable. Now at 54 I consider myself a very good eater but like to have a few drinks on weekends. But wake up feeling guilty, Eat good, I do some type of workout and THEN DRINK… come on!

  12. The hurdle is like to overcome is just to keep faith that I?ll meet my goal even when the scale isn?t budging. For BBQ, I want to eat more veggies. Especially after so much time on keto. I want to make as many last minute summer memories as possible and complete another month on the transform app with real
    Consistency and integrity. I signed up to swim next week while kids get indoor swim lessons. I haven?t swam laps in many years !

  13. WATER! Water is top on my list. Need to hit my water goals. Wknds ar so much harder for me. I guess cause of the lack of structure. Focusing on that and portion control for this momma

  14. I think with the heat of the summer, it’s more important to make my water goal than anything else. Sometimes it’s really hard to drink a sufficient amount of water.

  15. My biggest hurdle is the sweet desserts that family members bring…like pie, brownies, scotcheroos!!! My game plan is plan ahead and eat what?s planned. If all else fails, I?ll pop some minty gum to avoid this hurdle.

  16. Going to get my transformation kicked off at the gym. We BBQ every weekend almost so we don?t need a holiday. But it is so hot and humid in AZ right now the pool will certainly be a destination. Thanks for being you!

    1. I want to continue to make good choices with my foods.
      Drinking more water,especially my Boost Shots! Now that I’m back to school,teaching kindergarten, I still need to get my water in,and have good healthy snacks through my day to keep my energy up.

    1. Going to get my transformation kicked off at the gym. We BBQ every weekend almost so we don?t need a holiday. But it is so hot and humid in AZ right now the pool will certainly be a destination. Thanks for being you!

  17. I also bought RX bars and protein powder to weather the hurricane and aftermath without power and stay closer to my macros????????????????????????

  18. Biggest thing I work on at bbq’s is not to eat/ graze the whole time. I plan on bringing new little rescue pup named Pixel. She kept to busy last time to even notice the dessert table

    1. I want to enjoy the Bbq by keeping active throughout the day so I can burn the extra calories that I may or may not take in.

    2. I hope to overcome my fear of joining a gym. I went with my sister today and am signing up and commit to go with her. To strengthen my back and arms. I have been biking and walking as accelerators but just doing push-ups and twists for the rest of workout. I am strong ?????

    3. My biggest hurdle with bbqs is the sodium that is in the sides, and the sauce too.

  19. OMG potato salad is my favorite at get togethers. My mom?s is the best but not the healthiest ?. Time to find something healthier but almost as good.

  20. My hurdle, don?t eat more than 1 cupcake on my reset day. Monday is low carb day so grill steak and veggies instead of hamburgers and brats.

  21. I hope to overcome the hurdle of not eating enough vegetables this bbq season! I?m going to start by experimenting and adding a variety of vegetables to the grill!

  22. My biggest hurdle will be to not let a few treats turn into an over indulgence mess! I plan to focus on my people and not the food. Enjoy the company and stay active.

  23. My hurdle is sticking to the healthy food and trying to not let the sweets tempt me!

    I love the boost it?s a great afternoon drink for me to get me ready for my after work workout!

    1. My biggest hurdle is just eating too much in general when there’s a BBQ. This weekend a plan to drink a ton of water so that my stomach is already somewhat full before the eating begins ??

  24. Family drama,? but really not going along with traditional family labor day food and bringing our own, to control what we eat.

  25. Probably head to the lake and go fishing in an inflatable boat. Cook with a bbq rack over an open fire. Hydration. Fruits and vegetables a must while out on the Lake. Vitamin C from the sun very important. Looks like a great weekend to spend time outdoors.

    1. My struggles with barbecues is the salty chips. I can eat chips till I get sick. I dont eat hamburgers so the only thi g I can eat is a hotdog but I do make sure they are the lean beef ball park. I just have to figure out a better protein.

  26. The alcohol! Bbq’s and beer go hand in hand it seems. I am learning to eat more fruit and up the water!

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