Limit TV
TV and computer/video games can be an occasional babysitter or entertainment provider.  More than an hour or two a day of screen time, however, can be unhealthy.  Encourage “moving around” and reading time as alternatives.  Let children help with food preparation, play board games, or help them learn a new art or craft skill.

Play Together
When planning family celebrations, try focusing on fun activities instead of food.  Most of us cherish the time our parents spent with us more than the gifts they gave or the food they served.  When you do give gifts, look for ones that encourage activity.

Source:  Iowa State University 2008 Nutrition Calendar Food and Fun for Healthy Families


Tips for Healthy Holiday Cooking

In the kitchen ...

•For gravies or sauces -If you are making pan gravy, first skim the fat off pan drippings. For cream or white sauces, use fat-free (skim) milk and soft tub or liquid margarine.

•For dressings or stuffing -Add low-sodium broth or pan drippings with the fat skimmed off instead of lard or butter. Use herbs and spices and a whole grain bread for added flavor.

•For biscuits -Use vegetable oil instead of lard or butter and fat-free (skim) milk or 1 percent buttermilk instead of regular milk.

•For greens -Use skin-free smoked turkey, liquid smoke, fat-free bacon bits, or low-fat bacon instead of fatty meats.

•For sweet potato pie -Mash sweet potato with orange juice concentrate, nutmeg, vanilla,

cinnamon, and only one egg. Leave out the butter.

•For cakes, cookies, quick breads, and pancakes -Use egg whites or egg substitute instead of whole eggs. Two egg whites can be substituted in many recipes for one whole egg. Use applesauce instead of some of the fat.

•For meats and poultry (chicken and turkey) -

  • Trim away all of the visible fat from meats and poultry before cooking. 0 Take off poultry skin before eating.
  •  Broil, grill, roast, poach, or boil meat, poultry, or fish instead of frying.
  •  Drain off any fat that appears during cooking.
  • Chill meat and poultry broth until fat becomes solid. Skim off fat before using the broth.
  • Skip or limit the breading on meat, poultry, or fish. Breading adds fat and calories. It will also cause the food to soak up more fat during frying.
  • Choose and prepare foods without high fat sauces or gravies.


When shopping...


•Start with a lean choice.

  • The leanest beef cuts include round steaks and roasts (round eye, top round, bottom round, round tip), top loin, top sirloin, and chuck shoulder and arm roasts.
  •  The leanest pork choices include pork loin, tenderloin, center loin, and ham.
  •  Boneless skinless chicken breasts and turkey cutlets are the leanest poultry choice.


•Use the food label to help you choose.

  •  Choose extra lean ground beef. The label should say at least "90% lean." You may be able to find ground beef that is 93% or 95% lean.
  •  Processed meats such as hams, sausages, frankfurters, and luncheon or deli meats have added sodium.
  • Check the ingredient and Nutrition Facts label to help limit sodium intake.
  • Fresh chicken, turkey, and pork that have been enhanced with a salt-containing solution also have added sodium. Check the product label for statements such as "self-basting" or "contains up to _% of _."
  • Lower fat versions of many processed meats are available. Look on the Nutrition Facts label to choose products with less fat and saturated fat.