It’s officially summertime! Which means many of us will be indulging in our favorite snacks by the poolside or maybe at a family cookout. Whatever the occasion, there’s a few ways to enjoy summer classic treats, without over-indulging.

Fruit Cobblers and Pies

My personal favorite! It wouldn’t quite be summer without a cherry or blackberry cobbler. However, the dough and sugar will offset the antioxidants and vitamins. Instead, try grilling a fruit kabob or putting some of your favorite fruits in an ice cream cone with whip cream at the top!

Check out a few recipes here:

Fruit Kabob:

Fruit Cones:

Burgers and Hot Dogs

While it’s perfectly acceptable to enjoy a delicious Chicago hotdog or juicy cheeseburger…it’s all about balance! Both contain red meat, which has a significant amount of saturated fat. The average serving of a quarter-pound hamburger contains six grams of saturated fat, while one hot dog has 4 grams. Foods rich in saturated fats can lead to increased levels of cholesterol, which impacts your risk for heart disease. Instead, the American Heart Association (AHA), recommends consuming 13 grams of fat per day for the typical, 2,000 calorie diet. Instead try turkey or veggie burgers! You can get adventurous in choosing other healthier meats such as bison, salmon, chickpea patties…the list goes on! For hot dogs, search for “organic” or “extra lean” options with turkey.  

Check out a few recipes here:

Turkey Burger:

Turkey Hot Dog:

Pasta Salad

Pasta salad, a classic side dish enjoyed in the summer! However, this side usually contains high amounts of carbs and fat. Instead, try veggie pasta! A few popular choices are zucchini, squash, and spinach!

Check out a few recipes here:

Zucchini Pasta Salad:

Alcoholic Beverages

Many will be enjoying a cool summer drink at the lake or on a patio this season. With several reports showing summer to be the booziest time of year, it’s important to make drinking responsibility a priority if you choose to indulge. Your favorite alcoholic beverage may contain a high amount of sugar. Instead try a few of these healthier alternatives, according to Texas Health:

The “Skinny” Margarita

  • Silver tequila
  • Freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Agave nectar for sweetness

Coconut Cocktail

  • 1 oz coconut rum
  • 2 oz Zero sugar, zero calorie coconut water, like Bai
  • 2 oz Pineapple flavor-infused sparkling water
  • A pineapple wedge to dress the glass

Wine Spritzer

  • 4 oz super-chilled white wine or rosé
  • 2 oz super-chilled club soda or sparkling water
  • Slice of lime to dress the glass

Although foods like apple pie, hot dogs, or grilled cheeseburgers will remain a summer staple for many, it’s important to have an open mind to alternatives that will promote a healthier lifestyle.