How To Have A Happy & Healthy 4th Of July

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY

I wanted to post this article a week in advance of the actual 4th, because sometimes you need a little time for creativity and preparation.  I have created the list of foods below to hopefully inspire you to have a Happy & Healthy 4th of July.  Some of the ideas will be familiar to you and some may be new ideas.  All of them are simply jumping blocks to get your mind going on making a special celebration for family & friends next Friday.


When thinking about foods for the 4th of July, obviously you want to think Red, White & Blue.  The foods that I tend to lean towards are:  Berries, Bananas, Cherries, Grapes and Apples.  For vegetables, I like Tomatoes, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Sliced Red and Roasted Red Peppers, Salsa and even Jicama.  


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But there are others that you could choose such as: 

Blackberries, Plums, Radishes, Pomegranate, Pimentos, or Cream Cheese.  You could also use:  Yogurt, Raspberry Dressing or Ranch Dressing, Ketchup, or Cocktail Sauce to give a little color to your food presentation.  


HERE ARE A FEW 4TH OF JULY IDEAS FOR INSPIRATION


BREAKFAST IDEAS:

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4th of July Flag Breakfast Toast


This is so easy!  Your favorite bread (I like Ezekiel 4:9 Cinnamon Raisin Bread) smeared with almond or peanut butter, strawberry or raspberry jam, and topped with Blueberries, Strawberries and Bananas to look like an American Flag.  You could also use cream cheese and jam instead of the nut butter to bring out more white.  Start the day off with a celebration!


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4th of July Yogurt Parfait

Again, this is super easy.  But when you are intentional about it, you can make the ordinary more extra-ordinary!  This is simply vanilla (no sugar added) yogurt, along with some blueberries, raspberries and strawberries stacked in the glass, and sprinkled with some granola and nuts.  Serve it in colored bowls or with colored napkins or on a platter with a few stars and blings to make it more festive!


BEVERAGE IDEAS:

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4th of July Infused Water

If you are familiar with my blog, you know my passion for starting the day off with a big glass of water (my #1 health tip).  Why not make a pitcher of infused water the day before and wake up to a refreshing glass of fruit flavored water to get your day going!


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4th of July Strawberry, Banana Smoothie

After your water, you can move to a big red smoothie made from your milk of choice (mine is unsweetened almond milk), frozen strawberries (or blueberries, blackberries, raspberries or grapes) and a few ice cubes.  You can throw in a fun colored straw, garnish with some fruit and even skewer it with a decorative 4th of July decoration.  


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4th of July Lemonade with Infused Ice Cubes

Throughout the day, stay hydrated with these fabulous ice cubes, and put them into your drink of choice.

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4th of July Infused Ice Cubes

  

Knowing that I love kitchen gadgets, my friends all brought fun kitchen gadgets to my birthday party this week, and I just love this ice cube tray from my friend Chic-y!  It has a spill proof lid and I just had to try it out by putting some chopped fruit in the trays and filling with water.  The ice cubes made my glass of lemonade simply fantastic!


SIDE OR SNACK IDEAS:

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4th of July Watermelon Skewers


I love these watermelon skewers!


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Again these are so easy to make.  Simply cut rings of watermelon and then punch out stars with a cookie cutter.  Place  6 blueberries on a skewer and then place the stars on top.  If you really want to go crazy, you can add a ribbon, and place them in a container that is lined with styrofoam to have them displayed standing up.  

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Or you can place these in the freezer in a ziploc bag and pull them out to eat as a frozen treat!

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4th of July Frozen Watermelon Skewers

Remove from freezer and let thaw a moment before eating, so delicious!


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4th of July Flag Fruit Skewers

I also like these fruit skewers that are supposed to look like an American Flag.  Though they did (sort of - still would be cute, just need to work with number of rows), I ultimately just scattered fruit on my platter and liked that better!


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4th of July Fruit Skewers


And to add a few vegetables, these tomatoes are a great addition!   I found the small, plastic champagne flutes at the Dollar Tree Store.  I put some low calorie ranch dressing in the bottom and filled with veggie sticks, then tied with a ribbon because, well, why not!  

4th of July Filled Tomatoes & Veggie Sticks

All you need to do is cut off the tops, scoop out the pulp and fill with your favorite filling.  These were filled with a soft, herbed cheese, but you could also use hummus or other soft spread. 

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Having your own individual veggies ready to go makes eating them so much more enticing!  I could eat these in one sitting - and did!


DESSERT IDEA:

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4th of July Chocolate Covered Strawberries

If you are in need of a little sweet after a meal, at least make it somewhat healthy!  These chocolate covered strawberries are super simple and get eaten quickly.


Simply melt some white chocolate (found at Craft Stores, Party City, and Grocery Stores) according to directions.  I melt mine in heat resistant glass containers in the microwave and it only takes a minute or so.  Lay some wax or parchment paper down and holding the stem of the strawberry dip into the melted chocolate.  When they are dry, drizzle on colored stripes or decorate with colored sprinkles.  For the stripes, I place colored melted chocolate in a ziploc bag, melt in the microwave, cut a small the tip in the bag, and drizzle over the strawberries.


But in the end, all you really need to do is fill a bowl with your favorite red, white or blue treat and enjoy!


The point is to be mindful about what you are eating.  Do not stress about what you prepare, and don't make others stressed about what you prepare.  It is just food after all.  Just be creative in how you make healthy choices and how you present them to your family and friends to make them feel special.


REMEMBERING ALWAYS TO MAKE LIFE A 

BOWL OF CHERRIES!


 Let me know if you try something wonderfully amazing!


© margaret young