10 Worst foods of summer….and what you can do to enjoy them!

Summer is a wonderful time of being outside, playing with the children, going to the beach, and having picnics.  But it also brings out some of the worst foods to eat, yet they are so good. Here are 10 summer foods that are nutritionally not good for you and options to help them to be better for you.

  1. Macaroni and potato saladWhats a picnic without potato salad??    The problem…..these salads are loaded with fattening mayonnaise.  Alternative:  Use nonfat plain yogurt with about 1/2 cup of mayonnaise.
  2. Ribs.   These can weigh in at 288 calories and are loaded with saturated fat, and that’s before you slather on barbecue sauce.  Alternative: You are better to add mustard, garlic, and chili powder. They’ll add delicious flavors without many calories.  Better yet:  stick with the lean meats like chicken
  3. Frozen treats–ice cream sandwiches, bomb pops, etc.  Yes my children love them too, but check out how much sugar is in each of those items along with the dyes and flavorings.  Alternative:  make your own Popsicles with yogurt, fruit, and  less raw sugar.
  4. Corn Dogs.  Any

    thing deep-fried is usually best to avoid like onion rings, french fries, etc, but this snack is in its own category, packing about 20 grams of fat and loads of sodium.  Alternative:

    Choose a hot dog under 150 calories and 14 grams of fat, and limit sodium to under 450 milligrams. And have it on a whole grain bun.

  5. Slushies.  These are basically just ice and sugary dyed syrup, and a 12 ounce serving can have more than 350 calories–that’s almost lunch.
  6. Potato chips.  There is about 10 grams of fat in one ounce and it is way too easy to devour a whole bag.  Alternative:  If you must have something salty make your own air popped popcorn or try baked snack crackers.
  7. Soda Pop.  Pop is full of sugar and has absolutely no nutritional value. Basically, you are consuming a large number of calories with no benefits. It doesn’t fill you up and you end up consuming more calories to feel full.  Alternative:  Water, try adding fresh lemon or fruit slices.  I like to add a peppermint herbal tea bag to my water glass and let it sit during the day, gives it a nice pep for my day.
  8. Pepperoni pizza.  We are big on the “hot and ready” pizza’s at Little Ceasers, this has changed my mind. One slice packs nearly 300 calories, and your munchkin may want seconds. There are also gobs of saturated fat and dehydration-promoting sodium, about 700 mg per piece. Kids need only 1,000 to 1,300 mg per day.  Alternative:  homemade on whole grain breads using hamburger and veggies to top it.
  9. Frozen coffee drinks.  Did I really say that?? I really do like Starbucks but lately I have been trying to watch my consumption.  I used to get Caramel frappuccino venti size at 510 calories yikes!  A simple switch to iced hazelnut macchiato with nonfat milk venti size was only 260 calories plus gives me more punch with the espresso shots.  Try using nonfat or 2 % milk and no whipped cream for lesser calories.
  10. Carnival foods.  Ditch the fried funnel cakes,foot long hot dogs, and giant sized pretzels.  Go for cotton candy and frozen chocolate bananas.


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