- Get colorful. Whether you are throwing the party or filling up at the neighbor's barbecue, aim for creating a colorful palette on your plate. Fresh fruits -- watermelon and blueberries are seasonal AND patriotic -- give you the sweetness you may be craving and can help keep you hydrated. Garden fresh veggies are tasty and filling. Want more ideas? Click here for Patriotic Popcorn, Firecracker Smoothies and more.
- Challenge the grillmaster. Anyone can throw hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill. Show your culinary independence out with some unexpected and even meat-free recipes to grill.
- Be smart about your beverages. Many people like to raise a glass to salute Uncle Sam, but alcoholic drinks can contain an abundance of sugar and calories. I'm not saying skip them all together, but a little bit of planning can make your indulgence a little less, well, indulgent. Greatist.com suggests using whole fruits or fresh-squeezed juice in cocktails calling for juice, sticking to one shot per drink, using seltzer water over other carbonated waters, and keeping an eye on the size of your drink.
- Get moving. The 4th of July is about more than the food. Incorporate some fun (and fit) activities: Set up a volleyball net in the backyard. Organize an old-fashioned sack race or game of tug-of-war. Spend the afternoon at the swimming pool. If you're close enough, walk to the local fireworks display.
Have a happy and safe 4th of July!