It all began on July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence and the Declaration of independence from Great Britain was adopted by delegates two days later.
And since that time, whether it was an official government holiday or not, Americans have acknowledged the 4th of July as the birth of American independence.
The 4th of July is often filled with parades, barbecues, fireworks, and impromptu baseball games. Families, friends, and neighbors often get together to enjoy scarfing down good food, talking, and lighting off colorful fireworks.
Given the temperature and the invitation to jump in the waters here are a few tips to be safe and still have fun
- Wear Sunscreen: Although being outside in the sun is a great way to absorb some healthy Vitamin D, make sure to use sun protection from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Studies show that sunburns increase risk of skin cancer by 12 times!
- Eat Light: No one wants to eat a heavy filling meal when you’re outside in the heat. So make salads and sides the main course. Grill your meal. You will probably be snacking all day, so make healthy snacks like veggie sticks readily available.
- Stay Hydrated with Water: No matter where you are in America, July is hot! Be sure to drink plenty of water and keep your body from overheating, and stay away from caffeinated and sugary drinks that dehydrate you. Keep plenty of fresh fruit on hand too as fruit is packed with vitamins, fiber and water.
- Start an Active Tradition: Be it an annual family kickball tournament, neighborhood volleyball game or a pre-dinner hike, an annual activity will be a welcome event to any July 4th celebration. Not only will it get everyone’s blood pumping (and put them in a good mood) but it will also give you stories to share for years to come!
- Wear Some Earplugs: The sounds of summer—such as fireworks and marching bands—can actually damage your hearing. In fact, fireworks have a sound decibel of 150, and ear protection is recommended for decibels above 85.
- Keep Hot food Hot and Cold food Cold: Be sure you cook all of your food to the recommended temperature to destroy any harmful bacteria and keep things that should be refrigerated in a cooler over ice. If this is not possible, consider taking such items off the menu so that no one gets sick.
- Skip Sugary Deserts: This is the season when tons of fresh fruit is available from the grocery, farmers markets, and fruit stands! Cut up strawberries and melon or grill peaches, pineapple or bananas to satisfy your sweet tooth without adding unnecessary processed sugar.
- Make Healthy Drinks: Instead of providing sugar filled sodas to guests, make healthy variations such as home-made iced tea sweetened with agave nectar, or even sparkling cucumber water!
Happy and Healthy July 4th!