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Make Barbecuing Fun for the Whole Family

Throwing a barbecue just for the family can be a great way to bring the kids, and mom and dad, together.  Spending time outdoors is also a healthy way for kids to get fresh air and exercise.  While playing sports or throwing a Frisbee in the backyard are great activities to increase enjoyment during a barbecue, the preparation process can also be fun.

Bringing the kids along to help choose groceries is a good way for them to feel like they are part of the barbecuing process.  Give the children options as to what they would like to eat and follow through with their choices.   Parents can ensure that meals remain healthy by balancing every unhealthy dish with a healthy one.  For example, if a child chooses ground beef hamburger patties, then also purchase chicken patties.  Also, explaining to a child why a certain food is unhealthy will teach them about proper nutrition and maintaining a balanced diet.  Parents can select the side dishes, while children can choose what type of side dish they would like.  For example, if a parent decides that a salad is a good side dish, then one of the children can choose a strawberry and olive oil vinaigrette to go with it.

For the barbecuing process, a charcoal grill or a gas grill can be used.  If a charcoal barbecue is used, then children can help to assemble the coals.  If the child is old enough, they can even help to light the coals, but it is important that a parent be close by to supervise.  For the gas grill, children can help to wheel out the grill and select a proper place to put it.  Children can be a part of the cooking process by either collecting cooked meat on a plate or handing marinated meat to whomever is manning the barbecue grill.  If the child is older, they can also help to grill simple, easy to cook food such as corn on the cob or mushrooms.  This is a good way to get the children involved in the next barbecue.

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