A family sits at a picnic table and shares a meal at a summer cookout.

July 4th Recipes From Our Nutritionist  

June 13, 2024

Whether you’re bringing a dish or hosting a cookout, there are lots of healthy options beyond beef burgers and potato salad. And you don’t have to sacrifice taste. From fruit kababs to chocolate dessert, nutritionist Jamie Leskowitz, MS, RD, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist at Columbia, picks these healthy recipes for her own summer grilling. 

Grilled Fruit Kebabs  

For a side or dessert, it takes just 12 minutes to turn pineapple, strawberries, and other simple ingredients into a healthy BBQ fruit skewer. Leskowitz says the tablespoon of maple syrup is an acceptable amount to be spread across six servings, but she suggests swapping the vanilla yogurt for plain.

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Black Bean Veggie Burgers 

With simple ingredients, rich flavors, and a great texture (thanks to the walnuts), this main dish is ready in five steps. Leskowitz suggests using light mayo to cut back on calories.

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Summer Kale Avocado Blueberry Salad 

This nutrient-packed salad makes for a colorful side dish. Leskowitz omits the cheese to reduce calories, saturated fat, and sodium.  

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Yogurt Bark with Strawberries and Chocolate Chips 

Studded with berries and chocolate chips, this health-conscious treat is great for dessert and is also freezer-friendly. Leskowitz opts for using low fat yogurt.  

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Jamie Leskowitz, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist at the Metabolic and Weight Control Center at Columbia.