From July 4th all the way through the month (and the summer!) grilling out is a staple of American life. Backyard barbecues, fire pits on the beach, hibachis at campgrounds all become a place to create delicious meals over a coal bed or wood fire. But too much red meat can be bad for you, and brats and burgers (and even hot dogs) can lose their appeal after too many roasts.

Here are five ways to make your grill-outs healthier and more interesting:

  1. Consider beef and pork alternatives. Grilled chicken is delicious when you make sure to soak it in marinade first and keep basting it so it doesn’t lose moisture. Breast pieces can be sliced horizontally to yield a more even thickness and then cut in strips for fajitas and shredded and doused in BBQ sauce for health sandwiches.
  2. If you haven’t tried grilled fish yet, now is the time. Large steaks can be cooked directly on the grill or planked for delicious smoked flavor, and smaller filets can be grilled in a wire trap to keep them from disintegrating. A little lemon juice, basil, and olive oil can help keep your fish moist and flaky.
  3. Mushrooms are the new burger. A huge Portobello makes a fantastic meat substitute, perfect both for the vegetarians in the family and the health conscious as well. Sprinkle some mozzarella cheese on top during the last few minutes of grilling and don’t forget to season well.
  4. Kabobs let you have a small amount of meat while doubling down on veggies. Cherry tomatoes, bell pepper chunks, button mushrooms, and pearl onions are traditional, but consider adding fresh pineapple or mango, chunks of zucchini, and even sweet potato cubes as a way to brighten the meal and add much needed nutrients.
  5. Pizza night can be healthy and fun on the grill! Throw your crust in a pan and sling it on the back of the grill with a layer of sauce to start cooking while you grill veggies to put on top. Small meat cuts can be quickly cooked then cut up as toppings, then you can cover the entire thing with cheese and close the lid of the grill to finish it off. Try a whole wheat crust brushed with olive oil for a healthier twist.

Your grill outs can be fun and healthy, leaving room for the occasional guilty s’more. Find out what your client’s love to grill and suggest ways to make their own backyard barbecues a little better for their health. Nutrition advice is one of the things trainer insurance is designed to cover, so make sure you have a good policy in place!

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