Healthy Labor Day Recipes for a Picnic, Party or Barbecue
Next weekend is a long holiday weekend to celebrate Labor Day! I love holiday weekends and Labor Day is one of my favorites as it means barbecues, picnics, potlucks and parties. It’s time to celebrate with friends and family and enjoy the gorgeous “end of summer” sunny weather with tons of tasty food.
But what it really means is get outside, laugh and play, eat, soak up a little vitamin D and have some fun!
And I am ALL for that!
Healthy eating on Labor Day is easier than you might imagine with summer menu items like salads, grilled meat and seafood, fruit, veggies, salsas and dips. Even if you’re not the one cooking, odds are you’ll be able to find something healthy to eat. But if you are the one cooking, I’ve got several gluten-free recipes that’ll help you put together a mouth-watering and deliciously healthy Labor Day menu.
For the healthy main think grilled fish, meat and kebabs. That smoky, barbecue flavor just screams Labor Day yumminess! Sure, utensils can be used…but they can also be optional. Licking your fingers is all part of the fun!
Here’s a few recipe ideas for crowd-pleasing mains:
Salads are the best food option for a hot summer day! They’re light yet refreshing…and their nutrition boost will help you win that next round of cornhole (PS – who else LOVES a game of cornhole?). Salads can be considered mains as well, especially if you add a little protein.
Here’s a few of my favorite summer salad recipes:
Side Dishes & Munchies
The most classic side dish for a holiday weekend is potato salad – am I right? Well, I’ve got a family recipe that’ll make your stomach happy! I’ve also got several munchies to satisfy your slightly salty or sweet cravings.
Here are my favorite side dish and munchie recipes:
Other healthy munchies include: grapes, olives, salami, prosciutto, raw or grilled veggies, melon slices and various cheeses.
Desserts and Sweet Treats
If you’re outside enjoying the holiday you don’t want to be inside slaving over a complicated dessert. These healthy desserts can be made ahead of time, then delivered to the hungry masses when the timing is right…or when the sun starts setting. Whichever comes first!
Here are a few of my favorite summertime desserts:
When it comes to quenching your thirst, I always recommend drinking lots of water during the summer months (particularly if you’re in the sun and working up a sweat with boogie boarding and ultimate frisbee!).
One the best way to keep water interesting is to infuse it with fruits, veggies and herbs! So make sure to check out my post: How to Make Fruit Infused Water + 15 Vibrant Flavor Combinations. With so many flavor possibilities, you could pre-make a dozen different options for your Labor Day festivities. You’ll also woo your guests with how pretty they look!
A few other Labor Day tips
- Slather on a safe, low-toxic sunscreen (research the safety of your sunscreen by reading the EWG’s Guide to Sunscreen)
- Pack moist towelettes for sticky fingers
- Don’t forget your hat and sunglasses
- Stay active with games (cornhole, frisbee, football, volleyball and smashball)
- Pack lightweight, quick-drying towels (I love Turkish towels!)
- and most importantly….laugh and have fun!
Happy Labor Day everyone! Enjoy the holiday that’s dedicated to all your hard work – you’ve deserved it!