Six tips for healthy summer eating

July 18, 2022

Sensible choices can help you savor the season, while keeping you on track with your nutritional needs and wellness goals.

Summertime cookouts and barbecues aren’t usually associated with healthy eating. Images of juicy burgers, tender pork ribs covered in barbecue sauce, buttered corn on the cob, and zesty potato salad come to mind. But firing up the grill doesn’t have to tank your diet. There are simple things you can do to enjoy the season while staying on track with your nutritional needs and wellness goals. Remember, too, that it’s not just about the food but about spending quality time with family, friends, and neighbors.

Six things you can do

Whether you’re the host or a guest, try these healthy-eating tips from Livongo by Teladoc Health at your next picnic or barbecue.

  1. When choosing appetizers, look for healthy lower-calorie options, such as a crisp garden salad or crunchy veggies with hummus, to take the edge off your hunger without filling you up.
  2. Have a burger with a lower-fat cut of ground meat, such as lean beef, turkey, or bison, or skip the burger and go with chicken or fish.
  3. Instead of a roll or bun, try your burger between two pieces of a hearty green, such as iceberg lettuce or collards.
  4. Reach for nutrient-rich, low-calorie toppings, such as arugula or baby spinach, a slice of red onion, and a juicy slice of tomato, in place of mayonnaise or ketchup.
  5. Limit carb-rich sides, such as pasta salad, potato salad, or corn on the cob, to a small serving of one favorite, or choose lower-carb sides like coleslaw, chopped salad, and grilled vegetables.
  6. Grill fruit for a delicious dessert. Peaches, nectarines, and watermelon are all good choices.

For more tips and tasty recipes, too, see Your Guide to Summer Cookouts from Livongo by Teladoc Health.

Call to Health activities promote healthy eating

If you have medical coverage* through the Board of Pensions, log onto the Call to Health website today to participate in these challenges, to help you focus on eating right this summer — and all year long:

  • Beginner’s Guide to Shopping and Eating Healthy on a Budget: Get tips for making healthy choices at the grocery store without breaking your budget (15 points).
  • Ditch the Junk: Clear your pantry of packaged, highly processed foods so you won't be tempted to use them in your next meal (50 points).
  • Seed, Soil and Sun: The Benefits of Gardening: Nourish your body and your mind by working in your garden this summer (40 points).
  • Your Guide to Summer Cookouts: Post your favorite summertime cookout recipe to the Call to Health Social Feed (15 points).

More benefits to support you

In addition to help with personal, family, or workplace issues, the Employee Assistance Plan (EAP)** offers resources to help you develop and maintain a healthy diet. Log on to > Coverage and click the See Life/Work Resources link under Home Life Referrals; then click THRIVING to find healthy recipes, videos, articles, and more.

For personalized nutrition advice, all three medical options (PPO, EPO, and HDHP) cover consultations with a network registered dietician, and there’s no cost to you if your body mass index (BMI) is 30 or more. Regular plan provisions (copays, deductibles, and/or coinsurance) apply if your BMI is less than 30.

*Call to Health is available to employees and their spouses with medical coverage through the Board of Pensions; it is not available to members enrolled in Triple-S, GeoBlue, or the Medicare Supplement Plan.

**The EAP is available to eligible employees, retired members enrolled in the Medicare Supplement Plan, and their household members. It is not available to members enrolled in Triple-S or GeoBlue. Those enrolled in Triple-S or GeoBlue should consult their plan for information about benefits for behavioral health or substance use.