Fourth of July is synonymous with barbecues and cookouts, though healthy eating isn't always a priority. For a more health-conscious celebration, here are tips from nutritionists and chefs that won't sacrifice flavor.
Drink flavored water
Flavored water can help distract people from turning to soda when they get thirsty, NYC nutrition specialist and Joulebody founder Yvette Rose says.
Have plenty of veggies
David Standridge, executive chef at the health-conscious West Village restaurant Cafe Clover, suggests having plenty of vegetable options available since people can eat them limitlessly, without having to be too concerned about portion control. "Have lots of fruit and veggies out for snacking -- these always go first," seconds NYC registered dietitian Willow Jarosh of C&J Nutrition.
Grill with quality beef
"As long as it's quality ground beef that's grass-fed, there's nothing wrong with it at all," Standridge says.
Use whole grains
"Store-bought hot dog and hamburger buns can be nothing but empty white flour," Standridge warns. Jarosh suggests using whole grain buns and serving a variation of whole grain pilaf for guests who want to avoid the bun completely.
Flavor with Himalayan salt
"It has a lot more of the minerals that you need" than sea salt, Rose says.
Serve fruit for dessert
Rose recommends strawberries with whipped cream on the side, while Jarosh always serves grilled pineapple as a finale when she hosts a BBQ.