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Tips for Healthy Grilling

Salmon on Grill

Did you know that July is National Grilling Month? It’s a good time to celebrate because summer is full of those family barbecues complete with your standard grilled foods (i.e. hot dogs, hamburgers, etc.) Cooking food on a grill provides the opportunity to infuse some really great flavors into your foods. You can also find some great alternatives for your standard foods. We are sharing some simple tips for healthy grilling below:

  • Start with a salad – We’re not grilling our salad, but we are sharing some ideas for healthy salad dressings, because what better way to start out your healthy meal than with a bowl full of greens?
  • Choose Lean Proteins – Use ground turkey for your burgers, lean chicken breasts (without the skin) or a tasty salmon or tilapia for the main dish. Trim off any visible fat before grilling and encourage smaller servings by grilling meat in smaller portions. For more flavor, brush with a small amount of extra-virgin olive oil, herbs, citrus, and pepper!
  • Grill those Veggies – Vegetables taste great on the grill! For a yummy side, load up some colorful peppers, onions, mushrooms, summer squash, and zucchini on a skewer, coat with a little extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with some pepper for great taste. Corn on the cob is also very flavorful when cooked on the grill.
  • Sweet Tooth – Discover enhanced flavor and sweetness when you consider grilling fruit for your dessert! Pineapple, apples, bananas and peaches are all great options to try on the grill.

Make sure to consider food safety when grilling outdoors! In fact, here are some grilling tips from the United States Department of Agriculture that we found to be helpful. Be safe and enjoy!

What are your favorite things to grill in the summertime?

Fruit and Veggie Grilling Tips

Tips-for-Grilling-Fruits-VeggiesJuly is National Grilling Month, so we are excited to share these fruit and veggie grilling tips from our friends over at Produce for Kids!

During the summer months, outdoor cooking on the grill is a favorite pastime for friends and family gatherings. When it comes to getting kids involved with cooking, grilling offers a great opportunity to experience fruits and vegetables in refreshing new ways.

Asparagus, zucchini and yellow squash offer a tasty change to the normal routine. How about grilled broccoli or cauliflower? Maybe sweet pineapple, cantaloupe, peaches and pears? Read on to see how to enjoy these favorites all summer long.

Make sure your grill is ready for those delicious fruits and veggies. Scrub down the grill top using a steel brush. Depending on your child’s age, this can be a great lesson for them in taking ownership and care. Wipe the grate with an oiled cloth (an old piece of shirt bundled and tied works great) to remove any dust residue. If you have a gas grill, make sure the burner airways are clean and clear of cobwebs and debris. It’s critical for safety sake to first have the gas disconnected if you are taking your grill apart. Using mild soap, water and a skinny brush (that should be able to get inside the burner tubes), clean burners as needed. Essential items to have on hand when you’re grilling are a pan with oil to keep grill top clean, steel brush, tongs (make sure they actually hold the food when being pinched), a metal spatula and a serving dish.

  • Broccoli & Cauliflower: Take whole heads of cauliflower and broccoli, wash, then slice ¼-inch cross-section. Most children enjoy helping drizzle veggies with olive oil, salt and pepper. Once grill is hot and grate is cleaned and oiled, add broccoli and cauliflower and cook until there are grill marks, and pieces are slightly tender, about 2-4 minutes per side. Remove from grill and serve.
  • Pineapple & cantaloupe: Cut fruit cross-section, about ½-inch, so it’s a circle piece. Slice in half, like a half moon. Remove seeds from cantaloupe. With grill on medium high heat, add fruit and cook until there are grill marks, and pieces are slightly tender, about 1-3 minutes per side. Remove from grill, and serve with vanilla ice cream.
  • Peaches, nectarines & plums: Slice fruit in half, stone removed. Lay fruit cut side down and cook about 2-3 minutes each side, or until fruit is tender with light brown grill marks. If you want to add an extra “wow” to this, simply reduce some balsamic vinegar until it’s a syrup and drizzle on top.

Grilling together can be the perfect summer family activity. Now, get outside and prepare delicious foods together!


This post originally appeared on the Produce for Kids Blog.


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PFK_final_logos_webProduce for Kids is a cause marketing company that helps families eat healthier through its promotion of fresh produce, bank of 200+ recipes and blog full of healthy family living tips and advice. Through our partnerships with grocery stores and produce companies, we’ve raised more than $5 million for children’s charities since 2002. Follow Produce for Kids on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram and visit produceforkids.com.

Out-of-School Time Programs: Healthy and Creative Idea

It’s the middle of the summer and kids might just be getting a little restless. Certainly a little change of pace could help cure this little case of restless kids. How about trying out this creative and healthy idea that incorporates kids of all ages in your out-of-school time programs?

Last summer we piloted a contest idea with Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation (we love our partners in The OrganWise Guys’ home county). The contest sought out creative older students in summer camps who were willing to come up with some unique ways to convey The OrganWise Guys’ health messages of LOW-FAT, HIGH-FIBER, LOTS OF WATER and EXERCISE to younger children using a variety of multi-media formats. Some suggested examples included: songs/raps, short skits, and poems. We were impressed with their final products. Check out this montage of the fun submissions.

Because the pilot turned out to be so fun, we encourage you to explore similar contests or ideas in your out-of-school time programs! Contact us if you would like to see a template to use for contest rules and submissions and please share your multi-media experiences with us so we can see just how creative you all are!

out-of-school time programs

The winners from Bogan Park seemed to really enjoy participating in the contest!

Fourth of July Water Safety

Water Safety - Girl in Lifejacket

As the Fourth of July holiday approaches, families across the country are heading to cooler places to celebrate. Water destinations are great fun, but safety is a major concern as oftentimes there are no safety measures in place and no lifeguards to ensure they are enforced.

We came across this helpful article discussing how drowning doesn’t always look like drowning. This is a real eye-opener as most people envision it involving a lot of splashing, flailing arms, yelling, etc. In actuality, it may be hard to even realize that a person is struggling in the water. This real-life near-drowning video has been circulating the internet recently and just goes to show how quick it can happen, how difficult it can be to spot, and just how serious a lifeguard should take their job. We give a huge shout out to the lifeguard for taking her job seriously and being so alert!

One way to ensure kids are being watched vigilantly, is to share the responsibility with each of the guardians who are there to “watch” their kids as they swim. If swimming with a group of friends, pick an item such as a pool diving stick or even create a silly hat with a pair of eyes on it that the adult “on duty” has to wear. The idea is to make sure that someone is “on alert” at all times. When one is on duty they can’t be on cell phones and all attention must be on not only their own child(ren), but on all the kids in the swimming area. We think this is a great way to be smart this Fourth of July holiday.

With all that being said, make sure and enjoy your vacation, just be safe!

What are your plans for the Fourth of July?

How To Teach Healthy Behaviors At Home This Summer

OrganWise Guys Kids Healthy behaviors

Are you looking for a fun way to keep your kiddos healthy during the summer months? Look no further … The OrganWise Guys In the House Kit is your answer! Encourage healthy behaviors with this home-based healthy behavior tracking program that helps families in their quest to become “OrganWise” by gradually adding healthy habits to the daily routine.

Here’s how it works:

The OrganWise Guys have four basic club rules.

  1. Low-Fat
  2. High-Fiber
  3. Water
  4. Exercise

There is one book for each rule. Your job is to practice each rule for 7 days with your children.

Choose the rule you’ll follow each week. At the end of each week of healthy habit tracking, you will reward the kids with one of the OWG beanies as a surprise.

Start the fun over each week, allowing the children to select which behavior they would like to focus on. This can become child-driven as they are excited to complete the various activities contained in each book and for the reward at the end of the week. You can engage your older children as helpers as they can encourage their siblings to make the healthy choices. It’s that simple!

Make sure and head over to our website to get yours today!

Want to get it for 20% off?

Coupon Code: OWG2015 (Enter code upon checkout)

So what are you waiting for? Get your summer started out right and get kids making healthy decisions all summer long! Here’s to good health!