It’s hard to believe the Fourth of July is right around the corner (wasn’t it just Memorial Day?!), which means the summer is officially in full swing. And while hot dogs and hamburgers may be synonymous with the season, fresh fruit and veggies make cooking and eating healthy easier than ever. As a new mom, you already know how important it is to fuel your body right, and whether you’ve begun to introduce solid foods to your baby’s diet or are attempting to expand your toddler’s palette, the tastes of summer can’t be beat. Here, we’re rounding up our favorite Fourth of July inspired recipes that are delicious, healthy, easy-to-make, and highlight some of the season’s freshest ingredients.
Made with whole wheat pastry flour (meaning less gluten and more fiber), these whole wheat blueberry muffins can be baked in large batches and will power you and your family through a busy morning on-the-go.
For the little one, this blueberry, chickpea, and rosemary purée is a fiber rich and protein packed way to start the day. And as an added bonus, rosemary not only adds flavor, but it’s also known to promote healthy circulation and digestion. Plus, it’s super easy to grow, even indoors!
Salads are great, but often, there’s not enough time in the middle of the day for all that chopping and tossing. This grilled goat cheese sandwich with peaches and raspberry jam is a delicious upgrade to the classic, and whole-grain bread adds an extra dose of protein to keep you full longer.
Once your baby is old enough for grains (typically around 7 or 8 months), pasta can be a quick and nutritious go-to meal. Opt for whole-grain to avoid refined carbohydrates, and rather than topping it with a jar tomato sauce that’s likely high in salt and sugar, make your own in bulk (perhaps using veggies from your garden or the farmer’s market), and freeze it in single serve containers. This iron rich and dairy free recipe calls for white beans for a thicker texture—making it easier for babies to eat with their hands—and it also serves as a healthy “hidden veggie” pasta sauce for picky toddlers.
Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbeque, attending a party, or spending the day at home this Fourth of July, it’s the perfect opportunity to try out some new summer recipes. For a healthy side, grilled corn on the cob with lime butter is sure to be a fan favorite (just skip the ancho chili sauce on the kiddos’ cobs). This red, white, and blue quinoa fruit salad is a tasty dish that can easily feed a large group. And for the main course, BBQ chicken with a slaw made of juicy peaches and feta is a flavor explosion that’s simple to make.
Since babies can begin eating bite-sized pieces of protein (including certain meats) between 7 and 8 months old, put some plain chicken to the side so you won’t have to prepare a separate meal. Add corn (off the cob, of course), blueberries, and sliced strawberries for a balanced and patriotic dinner.
Making your own ice cream is time-consuming, but with a food processor, you can whip up a delicious (and healthy!) sorbet in under 5 minutes. This quick and easy recipe takes the ultimate summer fruit, watermelon, and transforms it into a cold and refreshing treat using just two ingredients: frozen watermelon and lime juice. And because it’s sugar and dairy free, this is a dessert that the whole family can enjoy.
Take advantage of the fresh flavors of summer before it’s over. Whether you’re planning an Independence Day bash or putting together the weekly grocery list, simplicity is key when it comes to eating healthy and happy.