Meghan Tiernan (MS, RD, LDN) is a registered dietitian with a passion for helping others achieve a healthy lifestyle. She strives to help others learn the most nutritious way to eat, in order to achieve good health. Meghan enjoys cooking and running and believes that with just some basic knowledge, you can gain the confidence in yourself to know that you can eat well.

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Dietitian Consult

by Meghan Tiernan, MS, RD, LDN

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Father's Day is right around the corner! What better way to show Dad you care than by taking charge of the grill and making a delicious and healthy dinner for the family to enjoy? Not only will you be giving him the night off, but you'll also be helping him stay healthy so he can be around for many, many years to come.

Grilling is a very healthy way to get your meats and veggies cooked and tasting delicious. Try revolving your entire meal around the grill... even dessert!

For dinner, try something new. Consider setting up a burger bar using lower fat burger alternatives such as ground turkey, veggie burgers or portabella mushrooms. Use sandwich flats or light wheat buns to lower the calories of the bread, and be sure to provide all sorts of low calorie condiments and veggies to load up your burger with. Try using different kinds of mustards to add extra flavor and use low fat cheese.

Make sweet potato or parsnip fries for an alternative from the fried version. Try grilling up veggies such as grilled corn on the cob, grilled eggplant, grilled zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes or onions and season them any way you wish. This website has a ton of great tips on how to grill veggies.

If you’re looking for an alternative to steak or chicken, try seafood. In general, fish that has the consistency of steak usually grills up better (salmon, tuna, halibut, etc), but scallops and shrimp are also great fish choices that work great on the grill. You can keep the seasoning as simple as marinating in olive oil, salt and pepper or you can jazz it up with other low sodium marinades.

Another alternative is grilled pizza, which could be a meal or an appetizer. Take whole wheat pizza dough, top it with low fat cheese and lots of veggies and cook on top of the grill for a Father’s Day treat.

Now let’s talk about dessert. Grilled desserts are a great way to mix things up and in general. Grilling fruit is usually the food of choice, which means your dessert is already heading in a healthy direction and your taste buds will be none the wiser!

Try grilling peaches or pineapple and topping with a scoop of low fat vanilla ice cream and drizzling with caramel... yum!

Here are a few recipes to try:

Grilled Peaches on the Half Shell

4 ripe peaches
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries or blueberries (if frozen, thaw berries to room temperature)
2-3 tablespoons brown sugar
4 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice.

1. Prepare grill. Wash and halve peaches. Remove pits and discard.
2. Place one halved peach, cut side up on a square of aluminum foil. Fill cavity with berries.
3. Sprinkle berries with brown sugar then drizzle with lemon juice.
4. Bring sides of foil up and wrap over top and sides of the peach. Repeat process with other peach half and remaining halves.
5. Grill for 15-20 minutes before serving. Serving Size: 2 halves.

Grilled Pineapple (AllRecipes.com)

1 fresh pineapple (or get the pre-cored pineapple), cut into slices
¼ cup pineapple juice or orange juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1. Peel the pineapple and, leaving it whole, cut out the center core. Slice into 8 rings, and place them in a shallow glass dish or resealable plastic bag. ...    Continue

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