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5 hacks to healthify your next barbecue

Spending sunny days around the barbie is a Kiwi Summer tradition. Keeping your spread healthy (and delicious) at the tastiest time of the year is easy if you have a few tricks up your sleeve.

Countdown shares 5 must-know tricks that make it easy to eat smart at your next barbecue.

It's easy to make [guacamole.](http://www.foodtolove.co.nz/recipes/guacamole-with-vegie-sticks-12194|target="_blank")
It's easy to make guacamole.

1 Snack smart

Let’s face it, chips and dip are practically as essential as the barbecue itself when it comes to summer entertaining. Delicious? Yes. Healthy? Not so much. A smart solution is to swap heavy, creamy dips for fresh homemade versions.

Make the most of Summer’s bounty of avocados by whipping up a creamy guacamole or grab that can of chickpeas from the pantry and easily create your own hummus.

You could even whip up these light, crispy seasoned kumara chips instead of, or as well as regular chips. You could even cut up carrots, cucumber and capsicum into matchsticks as a lighter option to dip into your delicious vege-based dips

2 Diversify your spread

While sides like potato salad, garlic bread and pizza bread are crowd favourites, they’re not contributing much nutrition to your meal. Try adding more veges to your selection of sides, for example:

3 Sample from the sea

Seafood is a light, tasty option that’s a great addition to any barbecue menu. Seafood is naturally full of protein, omega-3s, vitamins and minerals, as well as being low in cholesterol, which is great for your heart's health. Prawns and fish are our picks for barbecuing - they can be grilled to perfection in a flash and are a blank canvas for a range of flavour combinations.

Try this tasty grilled fish recipe or these barbecued spiced prawns.

Make your own [lemon dressing.](http://www.foodtolove.co.nz/recipes/lemon-dressing-4983|target="_blank")
Make your own lemon dressing.

4 Dress to impress

Heavy dressings can sneak a lot of extra calories on top of that healthy salad. Try making your own dressing like this Italian dressing or citrusy lemon dressing.

You'll know exactly what's going in it, plus you can tailor it to your tastes. Win-win!

These [tandoori chicken skewers](http://www.foodtolove.co.nz/recipes/tandoori-chicken-skewers-10292|target="_blank") are packed with veges.
These tandoori chicken skewers are packed with veges.

5 Put it on a stick

Make your favourite meat stretch further and add an extra dose of vegetables to everyone’s plate by creating skewers. Light, flavourful and engineered for one-handed eating, skewers are the perfect barbecue food. No cutlery required!

Try our top skewer picks:

This article was created in collaboration with Countdown.

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