Summer Grilling: Kid-Friendly Vegetables on the BBQ


Most dads love a good barbeque.

If you’re a dad planning a barbeque, or a mom creating a fun day for the dad in your family’s life, I’ve got some ideas for you!

When you think of BBQ, I’m sure most of you are thinking of meat.

But vegetables can be delicious on the grill! In fact, as a Certified Nutrition Consultant working with families (and picky eaters), one of my favorite ways to get kids (and adults) to eat vegetables is grilled.

Vegetables on the Barbeque

Grilling vegetables removes some of the moisture, so vegetables that might otherwise be wet and mushy like zucchini, are drier and crispy. Zucchini spears were one of my family’s favorites growing up. Cut zucchinis like you are making carrot sticks, in other words like thin spears. When you cook them they are like zucchini fries. You can also make “planks” which can be very good too.

Vegetable skewers are also fun for kids. And they are a great way to prepare vegetables that are smaller and might slip through the grill like button mushrooms. However, personally I like mine flat on the grill for more charring which makes them more caramelized and sweet.

You can even make kale chips on the grill, but place them on the cooler side of the grill and be sure to watch them because they can burn quickly.

Great vegetables to grill include:

  • Zucchini
  • Onion
  • Pepper
  • Asparagus
  • Green onions
  • Portobello Mushrooms
  • Corn
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Eggplant
  • Green beans
  • Summer squash
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Fennel
  • Kale
  • Cabbage

To be low salicylate, oxalate, and FODMAPs, choose diet-compliant vegetables and oil.

Marinade for Vegetables

You can make it with anything you like. I don’t usually use a recipe. I simply…

– Start with olive oil (about ½ cup)

– Add balsamic vinegar or lemon juice (couple tablespoons)

– Include some minced garlic and chopped onion.

– Add some salt and herbs such as thyme, basil, oregano, or anything from your garden.

– Consider some mustard (1 teaspoon).

Mix it all together and taste it. Adjust as desired. Then let the marinade sit for a little while so the flavors meld together.

I do not soak/marinate my vegetables in the marinade ahead of time.

Wait until you place your vegetables on the grill, then brush the marinade on vegetables.

On a side note… Personally, I love anchovies. I know. I know. Most of you are cringing right now. But I do love the flavor in caesar dressing, so when I saw a recommendation for anchovy paste in the marinade from Sam the Cooking Guy on YouTube I thought it sounded amazing (apparently it does not impart a fishy flavor) and wanted to share it with you. I haven’t tried it yet but plan to for Father’s Day! So I’ll let you know how it turns out and report back.

Share with us. Comment below and let us know your grilled vegetable favorites.

Julie Matthews is a Certified Nutrition Consultant who received her master’s degree in medical nutrition with distinction from Arizona State University. She is also a published nutrition researcher and has specialized in complex neurological conditions, particularly autism spectrum disorders and ADHD for over 20 years. Julie is the award winning author of Nourishing Hope for Autism, co-author of a study proving the efficacy of nutrition and dietary intervention for autism published in the peer-reviewed journal, Nutrients, and also the founder of Download her free guide, 12 Nutrition Steps to Better Health, Learning, and Behavior.


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