Whether you’re at the lake, in the park or on the front lawn, there are simple and delicious ways to plan a healthy 4th of July picnic. Here are a few of our favorites:

Fruity Pops

Slice a watermelon in 1/4 slices. Insert popsicle stick. Enjoy your fruity pop.

Easy Healthy Broccoli Slaw
  • 3 tablespoons nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup, honey or agave
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups broccoli slaw mix (with carrots and cabbage)
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lightly salted, roasted sunflower seeds
  1. In a large bowl whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, maple syrup, mustard, and salt.
  2. Add the broccoli slaw mix, green onions, and cranberries.
  3. Toss to combine and coat with dressing.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until chilled, or for up to 2 hours.
  5. Just before serving sprinkle with sunflower seeds.

Recipe Source: https://simple-nourished-living.com/easy-healthy-broccoli-slaw/

 

Ranch~Style Hummus and Fresh Cut Veggies

  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  1. Blend ingredients.
  2. Serve with fresh cut veggies like carrots, celery, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower

 

Viva Fiesta Turkey Wrap

  • 4 Whole Wheat Tortillas (medium size, ~8 inch diameter)
  • ½ lb turkey breast, salsa or chipotle variety
  • 4 Tbsp Veggie Cream Cheese Spread
  • ½ cup torn lettuce leaves
  • ½ cup matchstick carrots
  • ½ cup shredded Cheese, Chipotle or Mexican blend
  1. Lay out 4 tortillas and divide cream cheese evenly (1Tbsp per tortilla) on top of tortilla
  2. Layer with lettuce (2 Tbsp per tortilla) on entire tortilla
  3. On one side, add turkey (2 oz or 2 slices per tortilla)
  4. Add carrot (2 Tbsp per tortilla) on top of turkey and add final layer of  shredder cheese (2 Tbsp per tortilla) on entire tortilla
  5. Starting from the side with more ingredients, begin to tightly roll tortilla, pressing down while rolling. Once rolled, press evenly with hands.
  6. If time allows, let sit in fridge for 20 minute before slicing in half or into pin-wheels.

Recipe Source: http://www.lsnutritiontx.com/blog/viva-fiesta-turkey-wrap

 

Asian Lettuce Cups
 

  • 8 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • ½ jalapeno pepper, cut into ⅛-inch dice
  • 1-1/2 TBS packed brown sugar
  • 1 TBS low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ⅓ cup peanut butter
  • 2 TBS lime juice
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp Sriracha sauce
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • ⅓ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag broccoli slaw (4 cups)
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 heads Bibb lettuce

 
 

  1. In a large bowl, combine the jalapeno, brown sugar, soy sauce, lemon juice, and mustard to make the marinade. Place the chicken in the marinade, being sure to coat it completely. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or as long as 8 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine ½ cup water with the peanut butter, lime juice, fish sauce, Sriracha, garlic, and ginger. Whisk together until smooth. Add the yogurt and continue to stir until well combined. Add the mint, basil, and broccoli slaw to the bowl and toss to combine.
  3. Coat a grill pan with cooking spray and heat it over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the chicken, discarding the excess marinade, and cook, turning the pieces over halfway through, until browned, 10 minutes.Remove from the pan and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Then cut or tear the chicken into a least 16 bite-size pieces.
  4. To assemble, create cups with leaves of the Bibb lettuce. Place 2 tablespoons of the slaw into each cup and top with 1 piece of chicken.

Recipe Source: http://tobyamidornutrition.com/recipes/asian-lettuce-cups/

Wishing you a safe, happy and healthy 4th of July! 

 

 

Remember, fireworks can be dangerous, causing serious burn and eye injuries. You can help us prevent fireworks-related injuries and deaths. How? By working with a national, state or local organization where you live to promote fireworks safety in your community.

Follow these safety tips when using fireworks:

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don’t realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers.

 

Did you know?

Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals.

 

  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.

Source: Consumer Product Safety Information

Image Source: Consumer Product Safety Information

Guess what time of year it is? Strawberry picking time. For today’s Try-It Thursday, we have some tips to maximize your strawberry experiences and a few yummy strawberry recipes to try.

From Healthy South Dakota (healthysd.gov) here are a few tips to maximize your strawberry experiences:

  • Don’t wash your strawberries until just prior to consumption. Without an outer skin to protect the fruit, strawberries will spoil much faster if they’re washed and stored for more than a day before use. Make sure they’re thoroughly washed if purchased from the grocery store- high amounts of pesticides are required to commercially produce strawberries. Use a vinegar-based rinse to remove these chemicals.
  • Phytonutrients found in strawberries can have an anti-inflammatory effect within the body. Strawberries also contain some of the highest levels of nitrates found in any fruit, and can greatly increase muscular oxygen intake if consumed prior to physical activity. Coincidentally, strawberries are also high in Vitamin C, which inhibits potentially harmful byproducts that can form after excess nitrate consumption!
  • Strawberries are one of the most popular fruits to add to salads. The tart/sweet balance compliments meaty flavors like poultry and pecans, savory ones such as bleu cheese, and sharp ones found in vinaigrette dressings.

Berry Walnut Salad

  • 3 tablespoons whole buttermilk
  • 1 ounce goat cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 cups spring mix salad
  • 1 cup quartered strawberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons toasted chopped walnuts

Combine buttermilk, goat cheese, honey, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add spring mix, strawberries, blueberries, and walnuts; toss.

Recipe Source: http://www.cookinglight.com/recipes/berry-walnut-salad

Strawberry-Chicken Salad with Pecans

  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 3/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 2 cups halved strawberries, divided
  • 2 (4-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast cutlets
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 3 tablespoons chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1 ounce reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)

Combine 1 tablespoon oil, vinegar, honey, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk. Add 1 cup strawberries, tossing to coat. Let stand at room temperature 10 minutes.

Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Brush chicken with remaining 1 teaspoon oil; sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper, salt, and paprika. Add chicken to pan; cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan; let stand 5 minutes. Cut across the grain into slices.

Divide spinach, remaining 1 cup strawberries, and onion between 2 plates. Top evenly with chicken slices and strawberry-balsamic mixture. Top each serving with 1 1/2 tablespoons pecans and 2 tablespoons cheese.

Recipe Source: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/strawberry-chicken-salad-pecans

Strawberry Cheesecake Pops

  • 1 (5-ounce) can evaporated low-fat milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons light-colored corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 10 ounce strawberries, hulled
  • 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs

Combine milk and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat; cook 3 minutes. Place cream cheese in a medium bowl; gradually add milk mixture, whisking until smooth. Stir in yogurt and vanilla. Cool completely.

Place corn syrup, juice, and berries in a blender; process until smooth. Divide half of cream cheese mixture among 6 (4-ounce) ice-pop molds. Top with strawberry mixture, followed by remaining cream cheese mixture. Stir slightly with a skewer. Freeze 4 hours or until solid.
Unmold ice pops; dip tips in graham cracker crumbs.
Recipe Source: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/strawberry-cheesecake-pops

Are you traveling for your summer vacation? If so, don’t leave your healthy lifestyle at home. Here are 5 tips to set you up for healthy choice success.

  1. Pack a Cooler with snacks, sandwiches, and drinks. Here are some healthy travel snack ideas.
    1. Dried fruit and nut mix. Easy to make your own mix or purchase ready-made. If purchasing ready-made, check the ingredients and choose the mixes with no added sugars.
    2. Sandwiches are great snacks. From the ol’ fashion peanut butter and jelly to a deli meat and cheese. Health tip: Make with whole wheat bread.
    3. Fruit. Apples, bananas, oranges, berries are all great options. Freeze some grapes ahead of time to have a cool treat.
    4. Veggies. Slice up peppers, cucumbers, and carrots for a crunchy snack. Time-saving tip: most delis have pre-cut veggies ready to go.
    5. Cheese slices
    6. Yogurt cups
    7. Small bags of pretzels or baked chips
    8. 100% Juice boxes, water, low-fat milk, unsweetened ice tea
  2. Plan your rest stops. Yes, I know we just want to get to our destination, but taking scheduled breaks reduces travel fatigue and helps little one’s get rid of a bit of energy. Health Tip: Pack a frisbee to play at the rest stop.
  3. Stay hydrated. Keep a bottle of water with you at all times. Your body will thank you. Travel Tip: Freeze a few bottles of water and use them as ice packs for your cooler. When you’re ready for an ice cold bottle of water…you’ll have one with you.
  4. Make sure to bring a safety kit. Include such items as hand sanitizer, bandages, antiseptic, bug spray and sunscreen. Travel Tip: You can purchase first aid kits or make your own. If you make your own~fishing tackle boxes make great containers.
  5. Finally, Enjoy and have fun. You’ve worked hard for your vacation. Create some memories…

Happy Try-It Thursday!

We know what a challenge it can be to get our kids to eat healthy snacks. Here are some ideas to make your job a little easier:

 Frog prince pancake with fruits

 

Funny pancake

 

Butterfly Sandwiches

 

Ants on a log. Celery sticks with peanut butter and raisins.

 

Fruit dessert for child with kiwi, banana and orange

 

Spider pizza with pepperoni and olives for kids

 

Fresh summer fruits on sticks. 

 

A fish shaped sandwich

 

Fresh watermelon popsicles with blueberries

 

Pancakes with Berries

 

Chicken Salad Critters