by Gael Myers, Accredited Practising Dietitian


Footy finals is the perfect time to fire up the barbie and have a catch-up with family and friends.

Are you keen to swap the usual greasy snag and coleslaw dripping with mayo for something a little healthier and tastier? Lift your BBQ game with our top tips for hosting a healthy get-together.

1. Throw some veg on the barbie

Mexican street corn recipe

Grilled vegies taste great and are super easy to do, plus you’ll be on your way to getting your 5 serves for the day. Brush vegies with a little olive oil and throw on the BBQ until tender.

Here’s some of our favourite BBQ veg choices:

  • Corn cobs
  • Eggplant ‘steaks’
  • Field mushrooms (add pesto for extra flavour)
  • Thickly sliced zucchini
  • Capsicum slices
  • Asparagus
  • Onion

Download our FREE BBQ recipe booklet here.

2. Choose better meats

Swap fatty sausages and burger patties for a healthy home-made version, or check the label on store-bought varieties to find the healthiest option. The label reading card below shows what you’re aiming for – try to avoid products that fall into the red category for any of the nutrients. You could also branch out and try other lean protein options like chicken, tofu, eggs or prawns.

Label reading wallet card

3. Smart sides


Sensational sides, appetisers and desserts can really bring together your footy finals feast. Prepare these ahead of time to reduce stress on the day.  

4. Think before you drink

Strawberry and mint sparkling water

Help your mates enjoy the footy finals weekend minus the thumping headache by providing no and lower-alcohol options. Keep bottles of water handy in the esky or for something a bit fancy, combine sparkling water with fruit or herbs in a clear jug. If you’re offering alcoholic drinks, include lower alcohol options like light beer and reduced alcohol wine. For more great tips check out Alcohol. Think Again.

5. Bottoms up

Kids playing footy

Give your guests a nudge in the right direction by having sports equipment out and ready to play.

A game of footy is the obvious choice for finals day, but other games like backyard cricket, frisbee, bocce or finska will also get people moving.

To avoid going the same colour as a lobster don’t forget hats, sunscreen and sunnies, and make sure there’s somewhere shady for people to sit.

Download our FREE BBQ recipe booklet here.

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