By Brianna Elliott, MS, RD, LD – Open Arms of Minnesota Registered Dietitian
The Fourth of July is an exciting time of year. Especially for us Minnesotans, the Fourth signifies that summer is officially here. Many of us spend the holiday celebrating with friends and family at parties that typically involve barbecues or picnics and enjoying lots of time outside. If you’re celebrating the holiday this year, here are some tips to follow for a happy and healthy Fourth of July:
- Bring a healthy dish to share: Going to a barbeque or a picnic? Why not bring a nutritious salad or another veggie-based dish to share with your friends and family? That way, you know you’ll have at least one healthy item that you can fill up your plate with. See our list below for some yummy ideas.
- Hydrate: It’s no surprise that it can get pretty hot outside during the summer months, and drinking enough water becomes especially important. Make sure to carry a water bottle with you wherever you go. Aim to drink at least eight cups of water throughout the day and include water-rich fruits and vegetables in your diet, such as watermelon, cucumbers, cantaloupe and tomatoes!
- Enjoy a treat (or two) if you really want one. Restricting yourself could lead to an over-indulgence later on. Really savor desserts—eat them slowly and away from distractions. This can help satisfy your craving and prevent overeating.
- Stay active: As tempting as it can be to lounge around on holidays, there are so many fun activities that you can do on the Fourth (and all summer long) that will encourage you to get moving. Go swimming, play some volleyball or Frisbee with your friends and family or go for a walk.
- Love to grill on the Fourth? We often think “meat” when grilling is mentioned, but did you know that you can grill veggies and fruits as well? Aim to fill at least half of your plate with grilled veggies and/or fruits. Some delicious options include asparagus, bell peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, pineapple and peaches.
- Don’t forget about sunscreen! The sun’s rays are incredibly strong this time of year. Prevent sunburn and other skin damage by applying sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Make sure to reapply it at least every two hours, or immediately after swimming or sweating.
If you’re looking for a healthy recipe or two to share on the Fourth, here are some ideas:
- Grilled Peaches
- Grilled Vegetables
- Balsamic Grilled Zucchini
- Red White & Blue Overnight Oats
- Red White & Blue Berry Banana Smoothie
- Red White & Blue Watermelon Blueberry Fruit Salad
Have a Happy and Healthy Fourth!