Tips for a healthy 4th of July

Malissa Sarver - Registered Dietitian-KDMC Ohio

July 4 is all about celebrating our nation with great food and fireworks. We all love to sport our red, white, and blue in addition to spending time with our family and friends. Make it a healthy holiday this year. Remember your sunscreen when outside and to periodically put it on throughout the day.

We all can be guilty of eating too much on July 4. The key is to go light. One of the worst feelings is eating too much on a hot, summery day when you are outside. Choose green, crisp salads with lean meats as your main meal. Try grilling pineapple with your lean meats to add a sweet flavor and to dress it up and add some color.

When grilling, it is important to remember to start with a grill that is clean. A grill can be a growing ground for germs and bacteria than can contaminate your food and make you ill. Once you are finished grilling, clean up any visible food remains and then turn up the heat to burn off any debris. After the grill is turned off and cooled down, be sure to scrub off any leftovers so that it is ready to go for the next cookout.

With the 4th being in the middle of the summer, our food safety is of concern. It is important to remember to keep hot food hot and cold food cold. The reason for this is to prevent growth of bacteria. Meat should be cooked to 160-165 degrees Fahrenheit. Food that should be kept cold should be refrigerated in a cooler over ice. Any leftovers should be divided into small containers and refrigerated as soon as possible to keep food safe from any growth of bacteria.

Dessert does not have to be sugary. Instead, choose a lighter option such a fresh fruit with lite cool whip to satisfy your sweet tooth. Lastly, be active. Get out the lawn games such as Frisbee, kickball, horseshoes, and even swimming. Incorporate these tips into your holiday weekend to have a safe, fun, and healthy time.

Malissa Sarver

Registered Dietitian-KDMC Ohio