If summer conjures up images of boardwalk fare and barbecues, you’re not alone. Many of our favorite summer activities revolve around food – and much of the food we associate with those activities is not part of a healthy eating plan.

But if you eat healthy most of the time, it’s okay to enjoy a splurge once in a while. That doesn’t mean every time you watch a baseball game you should eat a hotdog and fries or each visit to the ice cream shop gives you license to indulge in a 3-scoop sundae. The key to healthy eating is balance, moderation, and knowing your individual needs and goals.

Here’s some tips for making good food choices while enjoying your favorite summer pastimes:

At the Beach

The beach is the perfect place to bring your own cooler full of healthy snacks. Pack some sandwiches, cut veggies with hummus and a colorful fruit salad. Fill the cooler with hydrating bottled water. Have to have a funnel cake or fries? Make your treat count and only eat a small portion or share it with a friend.

At the Ballpark

While a hot dog and fries seems like the perfect meal to accompany a ball game, most ballparks have plenty of other food options these days. You’ll save money if you eat a meal before you go. Then if you must have ballpark fare, consider a small bag of peanuts or popcorn (hold the butter!).

At the Ice Cream STand

We get it – you can’t go to the ice cream shop and order fruit. But you can choose the smallest sized cone or cup and savor the flavor. If you’re going to choose a cone, go for a sugar or wafer cone instead of a waffle cone. And don’t load up on toppings, unless you opt for fruit or nuts.

In Your Own Backyard

When the festivities are in your own yard, you have control over what you serve and what you eat. Enjoy a barbecue or summer picnic loaded with healthy salads, fresh fruit, lean meats and veggies. If you’re craving a hot dog or sausage, have just one and then move on to healthier fare.

Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Copyright indicia (© 2007 – 2017 Baldwin Publishing, Inc.). All rights reserved.

Health eCooking® Trademark indicia (® Health eCooking is a registered trademark of Baldwin Publishing, Inc.)

No information provided in any recipe and/or other product or service is a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be interpreted as treatment recommendations. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH PROVIDER WITH ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING A MEDICAL CONDITION.