Have a healthy 4th of July

June 27, 2017

By Maggie Klee

The Fourth of July is hands down my favorite holiday. I love spending the day outside during my favorite season, with my favorite people and eating my favorite foods. It is also a great opportunity to turn the day into a healthy one with some easy food swaps and fun activities for the whole family. Here are some of my favorite ideas for making your Fourth of July party a little healthier:

Grill healthier proteins
Fourth of July screams cookouts and barbecues, but eating a lot of red meat has been linked to an increased risk of colorectal cancer. This year, swap out the beef for chicken, turkey burgers or fish for a healthier meal.

Sports tournaments
Every year, my family pairs up to compete in a badminton tournament. It’s a fun sport that works for most ages and keeps your whole body moving. Volleyball and kickball are other great games to burn calories and keep the family away from the appetizer table for a few hours.

Pay attention to portions
My Fourth of July won’t feel complete until I eat apple pie. It’s okay to enjoy your favorite foods, but remember moderation is key. Splitting a cheeseburger with a friend, picking one dessert to enjoy instead of five or loading up on healthy veggie side dishes are good ways to enjoy your favorite foods without overdoing it.

Stick to water
Skip the soda and fruit juice this year and stick to water to stay hydrated all day long. Add your favorite fresh fruit and herbs to keep it interesting. Also, keep in mind drinking alcohol in excess has been linked to several cancers, so if you’re going to imbibe, enjoy in moderation.

Plan an activity
Plan a hike, Frisbee game, tug-of-war competition, kayak trip, three-legged race or scavenger hunt! These are all great ways to stay active and burn calories.

This year, don’t use the holiday as an excuse to binge eat and lounge around. Have a blast on Tuesday with these easy tips to make your barbecues, picnics and beach parties healthy. One last tip―don’t forget the sunscreen!

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