There’s nothing better than getting family and friends together on a sunny Saturday for a barbecue. However, the traditional fare of red meat, lashings of high-calorie dressings and plenty of carbs isn’t always the best option for those looking to keep to a healthy-eating plan. Not only will these three simple food swaps keep diets on track, they’ll also please vegetarians, vegans and gluten-free friends on your guestlist, ensuring no one need be limited to a few lettuce leaves and tomatoes from the side salad. With a delicious nutrient-packed menu, all you’ll need now is a little help from the weather to ensure the day is a sizzling success…
Swap: beef burgers for wholesome grains
Both vegetarians and vegans will be fully satiated at your next barbecue, if you prep these delicious corn and chickpea burgers from Jamie Oliver the night before. Dense, healthy and filling, they’re packed full of nutritious pulses, slow-release carbohydrates and aromatic spices. What’s more, they contain only 5% of your daily saturated-fat allowance. Make them gluten-free by opting for oat flour (or similar), instead of plain, and serve in a gluten-free bun, or lettuce wrap.
Swap: shop-bought BBQ sauce for fresh, homemade ones
Even if the food you’re cooking on the barbecue is healthy and low-fat, the sauces and marinades you use once they’re served up can pile on the calorie content. This delicious alternative to sticky BBQ sauce is rich in tomatoes and can be used as a marinade, topping or dip.
Swap: mayo-laden coleslaw for a yoghurt-based alternative
If you’re asked to bring a side dish to your next barbecue, mix up a delicious, classic coleslaw but with this lighter twist. Using Greek yoghurt instead of mayonnaise makes this far lower in fat, while an array of crunchy vegetables helps everyone get to their five a day. Light, zesty and refreshing, this citrusy style makes a great alternative to the tried-and-tested classic.
Discover more healthy eating ideas on our Live section.