Katie's Healthy Bites: Healthy Tips for July 4th

The Fourth of July is one of the greatest ways to celebrate summer and America –- we head to the beach, go swimming and get together for a good old fashioned cookout. Here are a few of my favorite Healthy Eats recipes to help you celebrate the red, white and blue -- sensibly.

The Fourth of July is one of the greatest ways to celebrate summer and America –- we head to the beach, go swimming and get together for a good old fashioned cookout. With cheeseburgers, potato salads, hot dogs and beer on the menu,  it’s no wonder people can easily consume more than 1,600 calories at a BBQ.  That’s nearly a day’s worth of calories!

The good news is that keeping your waistline trim doesn’t mean you have to disappoint your taste buds or cut out your favorite summer foods. Here are a few of my favorite Healthy Eats recipes to help you celebrate the red, white and blue -- sensibly.

Smarter Starters

It’s not a BBQ without a few snacks, but that doesn't mean you have to serve high-calorie chips and dipppers.  Stock the snack table with your favorite brands of better-for-you chips (I like whole-grain Food Should Taste Good Chips or  low-fat Pop Chips) or try making your own bagel chips.  Pair them with a seasonal salsa, my kalamata white bean dip or cucumber dill dip for a super yummy guilt-free accompaniment.

The Main Event

When it’s burger time, swap lean meats like buffalo, chicken or turkey for their higher -fat counterparts.  You can also sneak in nutrients and add flavor by including veggies like corn, beans or arugula right in the patties.  Pair them with a toasted whole grain English muffin for a fun, healthy spin on the traditional bun.  Need more inspiration? Try three of my favorite burger recipes.

On the Side

Potato salad is a BBQ must–have, but you don’t have to load on the mayo. I love this colorful potato salad packed with celery, tomato, bell pepper, radicchio and herbs -- it is like sunshine in a bowl.  Be creative and add whatever seasonal veggies you have around the house -- the more colorful the veggies, the more nutrients. Craving pasta salad? try this recipe it is sure to please the crowd.

Sweet Summer Desserts

Growing up, fruit salad was always delicious, healthy dessert option, but you can make it more grown up by adding some mint, lime and champagne.  If you prefer ice cream, cool off with gelato or sorbet rather than full-fat ice cream.

Something to Sip On

Last but not least, we can’t forget about those tasty BBQ beverages. By stocking up with tasty lower-calorie options, you can save some room to enjoy all your Fourth of July spread has to offer.

  • When we're craving soda, we opt for Coca-Cola’s Mini cans (they come in a variety of flavors).  At 7.5 ounces and 90 calories, it will satisfy a soda craving without gobbling up the calories you wanted to save for dessert.
  • In the mood for something fruity and refreshing?  Muddle lime, mint and a few blackberries in sparkling water. A splash of champagne or vodka works well here to please the adult crowd. Or, try my watermelon slush for a kid friendly refreshing summer beverage.
  • Need to hydrate but craving flavor?  Add cucumbers, orange segments or lime to pitchers of water for an (almost) calorie-free, flavorful drink.
  • Nothing better then beer and a burger?  Check out Healthy Eats' Light beer taste test so you can enjoy maximum flavor and minimum calories!
Have a happy, healthy and delicious Fourth of July!

Katie Cavuto Boyle, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian, personal chef and owner of HealthyBites, LLC. See Katie's full bio »

Keep Reading

Next Up

Katie's Healthy Bites: 6 Energy-Saving Kitchen Tips

It's almost Earth Day! We all know how important it is to use as many locally-sourced ingredients as possible, but have you thought about using energy-saving cooking techniques? Here are 6 easy ways to use less energy and resources in the kitchen.

Katie's Healthy Bites: Healthier Hot Dogs

Can you eat hot dogs on a healthy diet? Here are our picks for the best brands and the most filling hot dog toppings.

Katie's Healthy Bites: Marvelous Mushrooms

We tend to associate nutritious fruits and veggies with bright beautiful colors, but don’t be fooled -- mushrooms are earthy gems that are packed with nutrients.

Katie’s Healthy Bites: Summer Salads

Beat the heat of the season, with a light, refreshing, summer salad! It’s finally time for some really fresh produce. Experiment with seasonal fruits and vegetables from your local farmer’s market. Next time you go to a neighborhood barbeque use these tips and bring a salad that will leave your friends wanting more than just hot dogs and hamburgers.

Katie's Healthy Bites: Grilled Fruit

Katie Cavuto Boyle explains how to grill fruit and which fruits to use on your grill this summer.

Katie's Healthy Bites: Salt Varieties

Salt doesn’t need to be an enemy. When you cook at home, a dash from your own shaker can really boost a dish, and if you’re mindful, you don’t have to go entirely without. Learn more about sea salt, kosher salt, iodized salt and regular table salt.


The Pioneer Woman

9:30am | 8:30c

Cupcake Wars

10am | 9c

Cake Wars

11am | 10c

Cake Wars

12pm | 11c

The Pioneer Woman

1:30pm | 12:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

2:30pm | 1:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

3:30pm | 2:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

4:30pm | 3:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

5:30pm | 4:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

6:30pm | 5:30c


7pm | 6c


9pm | 8c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Beat Bobby Flay

10pm | 9c

Beat Bobby Flay

10:30pm | 9:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

11:30pm | 10:30c


12am | 11c

Beat Bobby Flay

1:30am | 12:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

2:30am | 1:30c

Mystery Diners

4:30am | 3:30c

Food Network Apps

In the Kitchen

Get over 70,000 FN recipes on all your mobile devices.

Facebook Messenger

Ask our bot for recipes, meal ideas and daily food trivia.

Amazon Echo

Just say "Alexa, enable Food Network skill" to get started.