Our best ever BBQ tips

Happy family BBQ

It's easy for your barbecue or alfresco meal to sabotage your progress.

We have a few tips to enjoy the moment and stay on track.

Divine flavour: A simple shake of your favourite spices or a drizzle of dressing can add star ratings to any dish.

Look no further than fragrant garlic, zesty onions, fiery chilies, invigorating ginger, rich soy sauce, vibrant vinegars, robust wines, tart lemon or lime juice, robust tomato purée, piquant Worcestershire sauce, add an array of fresh or dried herbs and you're cooking!

Vegetable kebabs: If a meat-fest isn't your idea of fun, chunks of veg are super simple to prepare and quick to cook.

Most vegetables are delicious when barbecued, either cooked straight on the grill or wrapped in foil and thrown into the hot coals. Try peppers, tomatoes, carrot or parsnips, add mushrooms, aubergines, onion, butternut squash... even Brussels sprouts can bring texture and colour. And don't forget corn on the cob, which never taste better than fresh from the barbie.

Drip not drizzle: spray or brush meat or fish lightly with oil before placing on the barbecue but never spray directly onto the barbecue.

Oil doesn't tenderize meat, so leave it out of marinades. Enzymes in pineapple, kiwi and papaya act as tenderizers lay the fruit side of peelings onto the meat if you don't want to use the whole fruit. (Use this on chewy fish such as squid too.)

Salads taste great with simple lemon juice and black pepper, or balsamic vinegar. (You can even get white balsamic vinegar which is lighter and doesn't make everything go brown.)

Alcohol can be very dehydrating, especially in hot weather our bodies get mixed signals, when it's easy to mistake thirst for hunger.

A good rule is to drink one glass of water or sugar free soda for every one of alcohol. And make sure you count how much alcohol you're drinking... alcohol-induced amnesia is more common than you think!

If you are the guest and have no idea what has gone into the food, aim to limit the size and number of portions that you have.

Plan ahead for going to barbecues or summer parties. A small snack eaten before you go will help you stay away from the dips and crisps. Remove skin from drumsticks and thighs more taste less fat.

Sweet treats, wrap a banana in foil and cook in the dying embers of the BBQ sprinkle with cinnamon delicious.

Freeze some berries, grapes or chunks of banana for a refreshing snack. Pop some sweetcorn on the barbie - forget the butter, sweetcorn is packed full of crunchy flavour. Try a shake of cinnamon, paprika or cayenne pepper to spice it up.

You don't need heavy sauces or fatty marinades to bring that wow-factor to your barbeque. With just a little thought and creativity, you can have your cookout and feel fantastic too - nourished, energised and amazing in your own skin.

Now let's fire up those grills!