Eat Healthy

Summer Means Cook Outs and BBQ’s

June 21, 2020

Our Canadian summers tend to be way too short so we cherish those warm days and quality time as a family.

And what better way to start a tradition by bringing together your friends and neighbours to join in a fun, activity fuelled, backyard bbq.

To take the stress out of planning, we put together some simple, fun BBQ ideas that will keep the kids active, eating healthy, and learn some new skills. And for parents, it’s your time to shine and showcase your grilling skills; from veggie skewers to gourmet-style burgers featuring your own signature bbq sauce or perhaps experimenting with a planked salmon.

Plan to make it memorable

Why not make it special by adding a fun theme – brainstorm with your kids and be creative. Next consider adding decorations to bring your theme (and backyard) to life. This is a great way to engage the entire family in a DIY craft night.

It’s easier than you think – just grab some colouring tools and art materials, everyday items around the house and let their creativity shine. The possibilities are endless and it teaches them the value of upcycling by incorporating under used items waiting for the trash or recycle bin.

Always remember the real crowd pleaser is the summer inspired menu and delicious items hot off the grill – get creative and colourful while ensuring sure you have a healthy balance between protein types and vegetarian or plant alternatives.

Why not go potluck? Feel free to assign items for each family to bring and encourage them to share their signature dishes.

All fun and games

To work up an appetite, encourage some fun, family activities - here are some classic ideas and outdoor games to play that will keep everyone moving and entertained.

  • Beanbag Toss

    A great game for adults and kids alike, it is a chance for them to develop techniques to get the beanbag in the hole on the first try

  • Scavenger Hunt

    Give the kids a sense of adventure by working in teams while developing their analytical skills. Prizes can involve healthy snacks to fuel even more competition

  • Art Tables

    Why not develop their creative skills and use a fun theme to keep them more engaged

  • Potato Sack Race

    Build a fun course and cheer them on to the finish line. And make sure the parents join in too!


    Go Local

    One of the best parts of summer is access to seasonal fruits and vegetables – a great way to make your outdoor cookout a delicious and nutritious celebration. And if you live in the GTA, we have some of the best farmers' markets, making it easy for you to stock up on the freshest produce, organic meat, and artisanal products.

    Starting with the larger established options like St. Lawrence Market Saturdays, The Stop's Farmers' Market at Artscape Wychwood Barn and the centrally located Evergreen Brick Works Farmers' Market, to those within a short car ride no matter where you live – Milton and Whitby Farmers markets are two favs for our family outings.

    It’s a great way to introduce your children to the local food scene, teaching them about sustainability and the importance of buying from local growers. Plus, there are always plenty of great family activities, special events, and entertainment to make it a unique experience.

    At the John Tavares Foundation, we encourage families to savour experiences and each other by discovering different ways to be mindful, active, healthy and together. Let’s use this summer to turn moments into lifelong memories.

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