The Fourth of July is one of the biggest potluck picnics of the year. A time where people come together for grilling, fireworks, and the good old celebration of our nation’s independence. From pasta salad and macaroni and cheese, to burgers and hot dogs, it can be overwhelming when deciding what’s healthiest. Here’s a list of tips on how to make the best choices on the Fourth of July.

1.Choose lean proteins

When choosing your protein, try having a grilled chicken or turkey sandwich, or a hamburger made with extra lean ground beef. Grilled chicken and turkey is leaner than both hotdogs and hamburgers, which can then help fight against heart disease. Extra lean ground beef (if 93/7) is made with 7% fat (some of which is lost in grilling) and is loaded with iron and B vitamins. Or give our black bean burger a try. 

healthy recipe black bean burgers

Black Bean Burger. Photo by Kaitlin Eckstein

2. Load up on Fruits and Veggies

A common theme at most Fourth of July picnics is having some sort of arrangement of red and blue fruits (ex: watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc) with a white fruit dip. Load up on these fruits as they provide filling fiber and antioxidants but go light on the fruit dip, or skip it entirely as its typically high in sugar and can lead you to feeling tired later in the day.

Tips for July 4th

3. Drink Water

With so many drink options like lemonade, soda, and alcoholic beverages, your safest and healthiest bet is to just drink water. Being out in the sun all day can easily dehydrate you, so you need to make sure you’re drinking water to replace the fluids lost. Along with this, water helps improve circulation, digestion, and transportation of nutrients. Try adding fresh fruit in your water for more variety.

Tips for July 4th

4. Remember it’s okay to enjoy fun foods!

It’s a holiday and it is okay to eat food that you would not be eating on an average day! Remember that food is healthy in moderation. Follow RBA guidelines shown in the picture below and relax! Allowing yourself to eat foods that you are craving will put your mind to rest and allow you to enjoy the day without feeling restricted.

Tips for July 4th

However you choose spend your Fourth of July this year make sure to enjoy food and have fun! If you would like to make an appointment with any of our nutrition professionals, please call 301-474-2499 or click here

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