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Make July 4th Healthier With These BBQ Ideas

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Healthy July Fourth BBQ Ideas

I think that July 4th is the most American of our holidays. A terrifying time for vegans, we get our grills fired up!

As with many of our holidays, it is a food fest of epic proportions. You know what I am talking about: hamburgers, hot dogs, potato chips, coleslaw, ice cream, s’mores, and (the one super healthy food) watermelon.

My children will participate in a parade that serves ice cream, and THEN they will go to a parade where candy is tossed from police cars. I can’t make this stuff up.

My first suggestion for a healthier July 4th is to leave the country. In Canada, for example, it will be just a regular Wednesday :) If you don’t have money or time to leave, here are some other ideas:

1. Change up your hamburgers. Last year, I made this hamburger with a hole in it and I put salsa in the hole see: How To Eat Less Red Meat & Still LOVE Your Burger.

If you are ready to make a big change, you can also try a portobello mushroom burger for a meat free experience that many patriots would admire.

2. Buy smaller hot dogs. There are a bunch of lower calorie hot dogs in the supermarket. My favorite are the most expensive but at 110 calories each, they are a great option. See: Applegate Farms Organic Hot Dog. The other brands such as Oscar Mayer or Hebrew National have made smaller hot dogs - which I think is a good thing.

3. Try baked or reduced fat potato chips. I happen to LOVE Cape Cod Reduced Fat Potato Chips. I can’t tell the difference between these and the real thing. They use less oil and the potato taste is exceptional. If you can’t find these, Baked Lays are an okay option.

4. Serve a lot of salad, watermelon, cherries, grapes, tomatoes, etc. with all the BBQ meats you are inhaling. This is the season of fresh produce for less money so take advantage of it. For example, you don’t have to do ANYTHING to cherry tomatoes to enjoy them.

5. Use fruit for your dessert. Grill some peaches, make my healthier strawberry shortcake, or just serve a bowl of fresh cherries for a lighter dessert than ice cream.

Please share your ideas for a healthier Fourth of July BBQ.


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9 Comments:

"Go to Canada, it's just another Wednesday" -- SG, you crack me up!

Great tips. If I had anything to add it would be to remember (if going to a neighbor's BBQ, where you have less control of the menu) that bringing something you made (and know the exact calories of) will not only make you feel better (because you'll feel safe eating it), but is a great gesture

on June 28, 2012

Ohhhh, you make me want to have a party! Everything sounds so good!!!

on June 28, 2012

Great ideas as usual snack-girl. Another tip I like to use is Very cold water in a clear pitcher. People tend to gravitate towards it than something hot right off the grill especially down here in Texas where its 103. Also I will serve Fruits before lunch.

on June 28, 2012

And if you can't get away from the Icecream on the 4th, replace it with frozen yogurt!! It's only 100 cal per 1/2 cup, and in my opinion, tastes better than Icecream.

on June 28, 2012

Freedom Cocktails! Local blueberries are finally here, just in time for fireworks. Frozen blueberries make great ice cubes. Add to the drink or cocktail of your choice for a beautiful and healthy holiday hit. Freeze on a cookie sheet to prevent clumping and use as needed. They will keep in your freezer for a year. I still have some from the last Fourth of July!

on June 28, 2012

We have our Canada Day holiday on July 1st.

on June 28, 2012

BallPark Franks makes all white smoked turkey hot dogs that are only 45 calories each and they taste great (and they are normal sized). Nature's Own makes 120 calorie 100% whole wheat hot dog buns to go along with the turkey dogs.

on June 28, 2012

I like Trader Joe's uncured chicken hot dogs. Nitrate free, 10% sodium and 60 calories. They are normal sized and taste really good. Nice snap to the bite.

I am making a quinoa salad for 4th of July. Veggies, protein and fiber plus it tastes refreshing on a hot day.

on June 28, 2012

Check with the Canadians for July 1st holiday menu suggestions!

on June 28, 2012


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Welcome! I’m Lisa. I write about simple snacks, healthy recipes, and products that help me WIN my battle with donuts!

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