Cheers to a Healthy BBQ Menu this July 4, 2013!

My Diet Matters
healthy July 4 menu

Holidays are times to gather and celebrate with family and friends. Often, those gatherings provide less than healthy menu options. For this July 4th holiday, consider my menu suggestions for a healthy July 4 menu. You will feel better on July 5. Happy 4th of July!

For the healthy July 4 menu entrée, consider the following:

healthy July 4 menu
  • Jenni-O brand turkey brats-saves you at least 10 grams of fat and 100 calories over the standard counterpart. When we eat brats or serve brats to a crowd, we never eat the standard product and quite frankly, after soaking in beer and onions, one cannot tell the difference.
  • Fruit and/or vegetable and meat kebobs will save you calories by cutting down on the amount of meat consumed. The quality of this meal will be improved by substituting the fruit and/or vegetables for the meat which adds healthy anti-oxidants from the fruits and vegetables while cutting down on saturated fat from meat.
  • Instead of standard burgers, consider grilling marinated boneless/skinless chicken breasts. Pound the breasts to about a 1/4 inch thickness, marinade in your favorite mixtures, grill up and serve on whole wheat hamburger buns!

For side dishes in your healthy July 4 menu, consider:

healthy July 4 menu
  • Fresh fruit salad which is always easy to make ahead and pull out of the refrigerator when needed.
  • Grilled corn which is high in fiber.
  • Or, cut up vegetables served with humus and/or low-fat vegetable dip.
  • Or, kale salad!  This kale recipe is so special it deserves its own blog, but for now here is the recipe. It is an amazing stand alone dish or fabulous side dish full of good healthy ingredients.

For a healthier July 4 dessert:

  • Strawberry shortcake served with angel food cake, fresh diced berries, and light cool whip or whipped cream
  • Or, just indulge in your favorite ice cream at this point since you ate so much healthy food the rest of the day.

For healthier July 4 beverage menu:

For the beverages, remember they can be loaded with calories from both sugar and alcohol. Consider having your bar and cooler stocked with:

  • Diet tonic water and lemonade which will mix well with alcohol for a reduced calorie cocktail
  • Diet pop
  • Lower alcohol and calorie beer as well (for updated calorie counts on holiday beverages, read on)!

Happy 4th of July and enjoy the summer!

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Sue Rose, MS, RD, LDN

Sue Rose helps readers sort through the maze of nutrition information available to the public. As a seasoned clinical dietitian/nutritionist with decades of experience, her blogs attempt to educate and inform the public at a time when there is so much information it is often overwhelming to understand. Stay tuned for clarity on a variety of topics!

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Disclaimer

Use this information at your own risk. Although I am a licensed IL dietitian/nutritionist, I am not your dietitian. The information in my blog Chew on This located at www.mydietmatters.com is for educational and informational purposes only. It is also my own opinion and subject to change in the future. Please consult with your own medical professionals for individual treatment.