3 ways to eat healthy this summer

A young girl laughs alongside her father and grandmother at the dinner table.

If you want to kick-start a healthy eating plan, summer may be an ideal time. There are so many fresh fruits and vegetables in season. And warm weather means you can grill outside. So open your eyes and taste buds to the joys of summer eating. Try these 3 ways to eat healthy this summer.

1. Enjoy your produce

Once you have your fruits and vegetables, it's time to enjoy them! You can grill vegetables as kebabs, in a grill basket or in foil packets. You can add steamed or roasted veggies to whole grain pasta, potato or meat salads. Or chop up raw veggies to mix into salads or top off tacos. Fruit can be fun, too. Add it to salsa, salads and yogurt. You can even grill certain fruits like pineapple wedges, halved peaches and mango sections. (Lightly coat the grill with cooking spray and cook over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes.)

2. Add herbs

Fresh herbs, which may be grown in a garden or windowsill, are great to season summer foods. In salads, they can replace fatty, salty dressings. With meats and vegetables, they can bring out their flavor. (By growing your own herbs, you may also save money.)

Herbs used in summer meals include basil, cilantro, dill, mint, oregano and rosemary. There’s also peppery, fresh parsley and thyme, which is a mix of mint and citrus flavors. Here are some ways you can add herbs to your food this summer:

  • Top pizza and salads with basil
  • Mix cilantro into salsas and chutneys
  • Add dill to omelets and yogurt dressing
  • Blend mint into marinades for meat and vegetables
  • Sprinkle oregano on lamb, beef and beans
  • Put parsley in salads and pasta dishes
  • Rub rosemary on fish or poultry
  • Toss thyme into boiling water to flavor rice or pasta

3. Fire up the grill

Grilling can be a fun and healthy way to prepare fruits and vegetables, yes, and also meats. It’s fast and may cook off much of the fat. And you can go beyond hot dogs and burgers. Choose lean cuts of beef, including sirloin and loin cuts, chicken breasts, turkey and fish. Grilling is also a way to tenderize meat for more flavor and texture without adding fat. Marinate meats and fish in salsa, low-calorie salad dressing, wine or citrus juices.