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Celebrate the Fourth of July with Healthy Fruits and Veggies

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Celebrate the Fourth of July with Healthy Fruits and Veggies

Fourth of July can be a barbecue food fest, but this may leave fruits and vegetables by the way-side. Research has shown that fresh fruits and vegetables can protect against many chronic diseases, such as certain cancers and heart disease. Also, eating more fruits and vegetables can help you reduce high calorie, high fat options, often consumed on holidays, without sacrificing delicious foods and participating in the festivities.

Stay cool with icy beverages.

Instead of going for the canned soda, head to the produce section for your party shopping.  Try blending your favorite frozen berries with 2 cups of kale, a banana and skim milk. You can even go with the red and blue color palette by using strawberries and raspberries, or blueberries and blackberries.

Tip: For creaminess and more filling protein, add Greek yogurt to your ingredients.

Keep snacks colorful.

Chips and cookies can be high in calories and low in nutrients, so making a big fruit bowl or fruit and vegetable kabobs. These can be a healthy substitute that is sure to keep your guests coming back for more.

Tip: Adding lemon or lime juice can help prevent browning around the edges of cut fruit, plus it adds a hint of citrus flavoring.

Serve up a side salad.

Typical side dishes this holiday are going to be starchy, such as buttered corn and potato salad, which can also be high in fat and calories. Mix it up with non-starchy veggies such as broccoli slaw or spinach salad topped with peppers, onions or even top with sliced strawberries and apples.

Tip: If you’re grilling out, fix some grilled bell peppers, asparagus and tomatoes as a nutritious and delicious side dish.

Offer “ healthier” burgers.

Give your guests the option of a veggie or black bean burger, or sneak in chopped onions or green peppers to your extra lean meat patty.

Tip: Cut up an array of vegetables for guests to pile on top of their burgers.

Go with guiltless desserts.

Fresh fruit makes any dessert sweet and delicious! A smart choice can be low fat angel food cake instead of high fat brownies or pound cake. Top it with fresh or frozen fruit and light whipped topping.

Tip: If you chose to make the angel food cake from scratch, try adding a can of crushed pineapple as a substitute for water, and bake according to package.

You don’t have to dread the added calories and fat during the Fourth of July holiday. Instead, have fun and get creative incorporating nutritious and delicious options with colorful fruits and vegetables!

For more information about Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services or to schedule a nutrition consultation, click here or call 972.560.2655.

Article provided by Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services.