Categories: Food

Eat This, Not That. 6 Easy and Healthy Swaps to Make This Summer

Think “summer,” and what comes to mind?

Long days. Sun. Sunscreen. The cottage. Cold beer. Swimming. Lounging with a book. Chips. Bike rides. Ice cream.

Beer, chips, ice cream….too bad the most delicious things that we crave the moment the calendar flips to June are also oh-so-bad for us.

But living it up this summer and having a blast while hanging with family and friends should never mean depriving yourself of the things you love to eat. Here are six simple swaps you can make this summer to be healthier and take better care of your body.

Instead of tortilla chips and salsa…have baked chips with guac, Pico de Gallo, or fruit salsa

Cut up a pita or whole wheat tortilla wrap into triangles, lightly brush with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and bake until crispy. A baked chip has a lot less sodium and fat than a store-bought chip. Enjoy them with homemade guacamole (avocados are chock-full of the healthy fats that lower cholesterol and blood pressure), fresh Pico de Gallo (salsa made from fresh tomatoes) or a citrus salsa verde.

Instead of a beer…have a BeerMosa

Oh, how I love a recipe that has only two ingredients…like this BeerMosa. True, it’s still got beer in it, so it’s not technically a swap, but it’s a better choice because it’s got Florida Orange Juice in it as well, (if it comes from Florida, you know the OJ has no added sugar and is top-quality, which is important in a two-ingredient cocktail!) so you’re getting the benefit of a drink with lots of vitamin C, folate, and potassium. Think of it as a better-for-you beer.

Instead of wine…have sangria

I know, not a swap either. But just like the BeerMosa, it’s a way to take something that is unhealthy and add a healthy ingredient to it. Sangria is already an inexpensive way to entertain (it makes a cheap bottle of wine stretch really far), and adding a cup of naturally sweet orange juice to your favourite recipe just adds a bright punch of citrus flavour, plus a boost of vitamin C, folate, and potassium.

Instead of a creamsicle…have an orange yogurt popsicle

To make a healthier version of the classic ice cream treat, whisk together equal amounts vanilla yogurt (plain yogurt works too, just add a dash of vanilla extract) and orange juice, then pour into ice pop molds and freeze. Delicious, cold, and sweet…without all the added sugar.

Instead of a cheeseburger…have heart-healthy salmon

Burgers are a summer staple, but ground beef is often fatty and store-bought patties can be loaded with sodium. Grill up some salmon instead, which is an excellent source of vitamins B12, B6, and D, as well as selenium, niacin, and omega-3 fatty acids. And trust me, you haven’t lived until you’ve had salmon that’s been grilled over a cedar plank. (Pro Tip: you can even buy the planks at Costco.) Try this recipe for Cedar Planked Citrus Salmon.

Instead of a sugary sports drink…have a glass of orange juice

If you’ve just come home after a workout (or from chasing the kids around…also a workout) and you’re thirsty, tired, and feeling like you need a boost, pour a glass of orange juice. Most sports drinks are full of artificial dyes and high fructose corn syrup, while orange juice is full of potassium, vitamin C, and folate, making it the clear winner.


This post was created in partnership with Florida Orange Juice, but all the opinions are our own. We don’t tell you about products and services we don’t believe in. Parenting is hard enough as it is—no need to wade through extra info we don’t stand by!

Michelle Reddick :Michelle is a writer, editor, and avid cook living in Toronto, Ontario.