8 Tips for a Healthy and Safe 4th of July

The 4th of July is all about good food, spending time with friends and family and of course fireworks.

Here are a few tips to help you have a safe and healthy holiday:

1. Don’t skip meals. For me, 4th of July is my cheat day. I mean, I have to eat a hotdog and a hamburger. And, I have to get some ribs and try the chicken. To not try a little of everything would insult my host. The American Heart Association suggests eating light meals and healthy snacks to help curb the tendency to overeat.

2. Stay active. Plan a fun activity, like badminton or volleyball, that everybody can do together. Laps back and forth to the food table does not count.

3. Stay hydrated. July is hot, no matter where you are. If you plan to spend time outdoors, drink plenty of water to keep your body from overheating. Eating fresh fruits is also a great way to keep yourself hydrated.

4. Don’t forget the sunscreen. Experts say that the sun’s rays are the most dangerous during 10 am and 4 pm. Make sure to wear sunscreen, and take a hat and sunglasses for extra protection from the sun.

5. Have healthy drinks. Instead of the sugar-filled sodas or teas, try some sparkling water or tea sweetened with agave honey. If you enjoy a beer with your BBQ, be sure to choose a low-calorie option.

6. Don’t forget the veggies. On the 4th, my plate is usually so filled with meat that there’s really no room for anything else. Experts suggest filling half of the plate with fruits and veggies to add variety in nutrition and flavor.

7. Choose a healthy dessert. Instead of desserts full of sugar, try a fruit salad or grilled fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth. Check out my blog from last week for tips on grilling fruit.

8. Skip the home firework display. According to the National Fire Protection Association, each year thousands are injured while using consumer fireworks. In 2017, an estimated 12,900 visits to the emergency room were due to a firework injury. More than one-third of those injuries were seen in children under 15. So, let the professionals at Vulcan Park and Museum handle the fireworks. You just sit back and enjoy.