The summer season is typically full of fresh fruits and vegetables, farmers markets, and local produce stands. It’s also full of BBQs, 4th of July and graduation parties, weddings, and any other number of festivities that can be anything but “healthy”. So, how do you make the most out of your summer and all it has to offer?

1) Local and Seasonal

Take advantage of the lovely weather and visit your local farmers market over the weekend. Stroll through and plan your week of meals based on the freshest, local, peak of ripeness produce. You’re supporting local farmers, getting fruits and veggies at the height of their nutritional value, and more likely to grab fruits or veggies for your next meal if that’s what you fridge if filled with!

2) Veggies First!

Whether at a BBQ, restaurant, or just a typical Monday dinner at your own table, pile your plate high with veggies first, then compliment it with some protein and healthy fat.

3) Nature’s Dessert

Opt for fresh fruit when you’re craving some sweetness. Berries are juicy, full of vitamins and antioxidants, and easy to dress up with a dollop of whipped coconut cream. Grilled peaches or pineapple is one of the best summer treats the season has to offer. Plus, when it’s on the grill, there’s no need to heat up the house with an oven!

4) Grill Everything

There’s something extra delicious about meat off the grill, veggies with a little char, or fish with a nice grill mark. Get some extra time outdoors, enjoy the fresh air, and make those veggies from the farmers market and fresh fish taste their best. A nice grill pan makes veggies easy on the grill. You can even make some fresh, homemade pizzas on the grill! Just work with small pieces of dough, grill one side, top it with preferred goodies, and put back on the grill to finish the other side.

5) Pestos

Spinach, kale, arugula, basil, mint, beet greens, radish greens, cilantro…the list goes on and on. Every single one of these makes for a fantastic pesto. Pick one or a combination, blend or process with olive oil, garlic, and seeds or nuts (sunflower, pumpkin, walnuts, almonds). The options are endless! Use it to top salads, grilled veggies, salmon, as a dip for fresh veggies, or a spread on a wrap.

Summer eating can be vibrant, varied, and delicious. Take advantage of all the season has to offer to make your diet as nutrient-dense and tasty as possible.


– Aubrey Phelps MS RDN LDN