Who doesn't love the Fourth of July? The food, the fireworks, the fun with friends and family -- all of these elements combine to make this holiday fun and memorable. However, in all the hullabaloo, it can be difficult to make healthful decisions. Luckily, MyPlate is full of great tips and tricks for having an exciting and healthful celebration.
MyPlate is all about proper portions of healthful foods. It provides strategies to ensure that you can get all the key nutrients and fiber you need each day, and it's pretty straightforward when it comes to meeting goals. We've summarized some of its major messages below...
- Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables at each meal.
- Choose lean protein and nonfat/low-fat dairy products. Consume them in moderation.
- When you eat grain foods, be sure that at least half of all of them are made with 100% whole grains.
- Choose water instead of sugary drinks.
- When selecting foods with sodium, check the label for sodium content and choose the option with the lowest levels of sodium.
So, how can you apply these guidelines to create a fun and memorable Fourth of July party? Check out some of our favorite tips and tricks...
- If you're in charge of a big Fourth of July food spread, make sure that there are enough fruit and vegetable dishes available. That way, it is easy for people to fill half their plates with fruits and veggies. Even if you're just bringing a single dish to a pot-luck, make sure it is filled with healthful foods. That way, you will have at least one healthful option available. Not sure where to start? Try a variety of fresh and creative salads, veggies and dip, sliced fruit, roasted/grilled vegetables, or fresh fruit with yogurt.
- When you go to prepare meat dishes, choose lean cuts of meat, like skinless poultry breast or eye of round steal. You can also select fatty fish, since their fats are actually good for your heart. Why not grill some salmon or tuna?
- It's easy to add whole grains to any event. Just bring along some 100% whole grain rolls or hotdog/hamburger buns.
- Think twice before setting out a cooler full of sodas. Instead, fill a few large pitchers with sparkling water and sliced fresh fruit. Still water and cucumber rounds are another refreshing treat.
Here at Food and Health, we just love MyPlate. That's why we've created a bunch of free resources, like handouts, posters, and games. Our store is also full of in-depth MyPlate materials. Check it out, or just peruse some of our favorite products below...
Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.