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Lean Meat Grilling Tips

Anne Kolker • MS, Registered Dietitian • Jun 12, 2010

summer foods healthy family meals

Often when we think of grilling, we think of BBQ’d steaks, hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs, and chicken. The typical barbecue meal usually consists of meats, potato or macaroni salad, corn and bread. Perhaps, you might include a fruit salad or watermelon for dessert.
But the meat is the main focus on most barbecues and they can add up to a great deal of calories.  Many meats are very high in fat.  
But there are meats that are healthier, leaner and still great for a family barbecue!  Use our tips to select healthier cuts of meat for grilling and some tips on promoting healthier portions or meat.
With some simple changes, you can make your next barbecue into a healthier meal.


Healthier Meats for Grilling

Most barbecues include some type of meat. Meat cuts often are too large and don’t help kids learn about healthy portion sizes. We know that meats can be high in fat and calories too. Here are some guidelines to help you choose a healthier cut.

  • Control portion sizes by cutting all meats into 3-5 ounce pieces. Kids can always get seconds if they want more.
  • You can cut fat in half by grilling chicken breast or thigh without the skin. Marinate your chicken without the skin for about two hours.
  • When cooking chicken check for the thickest part to make sure it is cooked all the way through.
  • Look for lean red meats, like top sirloin.
  • Select pork tenderloin for a leaner pork option.
  • Look for hamburger or turkey ground meats that say “extra lean” on the package.
  • Trim the visible fat off of meats before marinating and barbecuing
  • Avoid processed meats.
  • Kabobs are a great way to mix meat and vegetables and reduce portion size.










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Written by Anne KolkerWritten on Jun 12, 2010Last updated on Aug 25, 2013




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