Meal makeovers

Swap out meat for colourful veges on the grill and up your 5+ a day

Swap out meat for colourful veges on the grill and up your 5+ a day

Welcome to our meal makeovers column where our dietitian Helen Gibbs suggests some healthy alternatives for... the Kiwi summer BBQ.

How can we make a BBQ better for people with diabetes, especially if your family likes a traditional meat-heavy affair?

Here are some great tips and tricks to turn an unhealthy meal on the barbie into something delicious and healthy.



1. Fill your plate once and remember the golden rule: ½ plate vegetables, ¼ starchy food and ¼ meat.

2. Serve large jugs of iced water flavoured with mint, lemon or fruit teas, to encourage thirsty people to drink water rather than alcohol.

3. Offering pre-dinner nibbles? Choose vegetable sticks and dips such as hummus, salsa or cucumber raita made with low fat yoghurt.

4. Choose leaner meats to grill or BBQ and offer smaller portions – aim for around 200g per person. Leaner meats such as chicken breast can be wrapped in foil to prevent them drying out.

5. Serving sausages? They should contain less than 15g fat per 100g.

6. Cook lots of colourful veges on the BBQ – try capsicums, courgettes, eggplant, asparagus and onions.

7. Limit the amount of oil added to the vegetables by cooking them on tin-foil with a spray of oil.

8. Don’t pre-butter your bread, have margarine on the side.

9. Instead of garlic bread consider having bruschetta – brush on the oil, don’t pour.

10. Offer wholemeal and wholegrain breads.

11. Leave dressing on the side when you make a salad.

12. Try this reduced fat dressing for coleslaw and potato salads: ½ cup low fat yogurt and ½ cup reduced fat mayonnaise. Add dressing at 1 tablespoon per person.




1 chicken breast without skin baked in foil with 2 tablespoons of salsa, 2 slices of wholegrain bread with 1 teaspoon reduced fat margarine, 1 cup green salad with 1 tablespoon lite dressing, 1 corn on cob with 1 teaspoon reduced fat margarine.

kJ(kcal) 3399 (813)

Fat (g) 29

Carbohydrate (g) 64

Fibre (g) 18


Traditional Kiwi BBQ

2 sausages, 1 large lamb chop, 2 slices white bread with margarine, 2 rounds of garlic bread, ½ cup coleslaw, ½ cup potato salad

kJ(kcal) 7414 (1774)

Fat (g) 120

Carbohydrate (g) 89

Fibre (g) 8

**This article first appeared in the Summer 2016 issue of Diabetes Wellness magazine. Subscribe to Diabetes NZ today to receive your copy.

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Jo Chapman