Happy birthday, America! Each July 4 we celebrate Independence Day with family fun and parties. While celebrating our country is a good excuse to eat foods you normally wouldn’t, your body won’t be happy with you on July 5. Here are 3 tips to staying healthy while you party like it’s 1776. 

Prepare for the sun 

Even the sun comes to party on July 4. With the South’s sticky summers, you’ll be attempting to ignore the heat while you listen to your great-aunt’s summer of 1972. Don’t let the hot day cut your party short with a sunburn for your efforts. While your family is outside, be sure to reapply sunscreen and hydrate often.  

Offer healthy pairings 

Independence Day meals consist of hamburgers, hotdogs, and all the potato salad you can pile on a paper plate. With that delicious char-grilled taste, offer sides that won’t leave you feeling guilty tomorrow morning. Indulge and enjoy your meal with the help of healthier pairings. A side salad or veggie sticks provides some crunch and variety to guests. Once you find enough room for more, try patriotic yogurt popsicles for a cool dessert. 

As for the picky eaters, give the kids a healthy meal for the cookout with milk. Not only are you recognizing milk as the most popular choice for each state’s official beverage, but the internet’s creative party planners have created red, white, and blue milk. There are many ways to achieve this edible decoration. The red can be the traditional strawberry, or you can add watermelon or raspberry flavorings. If you want to add something extra to your white milk, mix in vanilla. Multiple flavor combinations are readily available to produce a light blue milk, though picking up a packet of blue raspberry flavoring also works. If you’d prefer the taste of regular milk, mix food coloring for a festive holiday drink. 

Avoid the third-degree burns 

There’s a rush from lighting a firework and shuffling to safety. If you go just slow enough, you escape the dangerous explosion like an action star. It’s a thrill, but you’re missing the show. This year, get your distance so you can watch the colorful sky instead of just feeling it. 

July 4 may take you to the pool, the lake, or a giant backyard event. For a day celebrating your country’s birthday, practice these tips to enjoy everything that comes from an all-day party. 

Looking for tasty appetizers this Independence Day? Take a look at these recipes!