Saint Peter’s Better Health

Summer is in full swing and so is barbecue season. Maximize on the time you enjoy with family and friends by following  these tips:

Don’t arrive hungry! Eating chips and appetizers before meal time will lead to overeating. If you do not know what time food will be served, have a small snack such as a bowl of high-fiber cereal or a yogurt prior to leaving your house.

Cut the fat. Select lean poultry or beef, bean-based veggie burgers or patties made with portabella mushrooms instead of regular burgers for a healthy alternative to this classic food.

Kebob it. Fruits and vegetables are great skewered and grilled. We need these nutrition powerhouses at every meal, and kebobs are a fun way to eat them.

Hydrate. Water, water, and more water. As the weather gets warmer, our body needs more water to replace what is lost when we sweat. Aim for a minimum of 64 ounces of water per day.

Temperature goals. Use a food thermometer to make sure food is cooked to, and maintained at, proper temperatures. Minimum internal temperature of food should be as follows:

    Poultry – 165 degrees Fahrenheit

    Ground Beef – 160 degrees Fahrenheit

    Beef, Pork, Veal, Lamb (steaks, roast, chops):

145 degrees Fahrenheit plus a three-minute rest.

Enjoy summer!

Laura Vetter, RDN, CDE, CSO, CSP, Outpatient Nutritionist, Saint Peter’s University Hospital, counsels patients on healthy eating. To make an appointment, reach out to her at