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Reinvent Your Holiday Stuffing With MyPlate – MyPlate Holiday Makeover Week 3

Melissa’s Slow Cooker Stuffing

Melissa’s Slow Cooker Stuffing

The MyPlate Team continues to share “Makeover Monday” recipes each week on the USDA blog and the MyPlate Facebook page through January 6th.

Looking back, my fondest childhood memories took place during the holidays. I remember the smell of food cooking from the oven, the sound of the football game on TV, and my grandmother’s attempts to shoo us from the kitchen. Today, I’m a part of a new generation – one that’s plagued with obesity and overwhelming chronic disease. So while our traditional family recipes hold a special place in our hearts, eating healthy should also be factored into the equation.

As a nutritionist, I feel that reinventing family recipes is a great way to get your family eating healthier and a perfect opportunity to introduce new foods. One holiday recipe I’ve always enjoyed is my grandmother’s slow cooker stuffing. Born and raised in Kentucky, my grandmother’s southern-style recipes taste delicious, but are usually high in calories, saturated fat and sodium. Her original stuffing recipe contained 8 g saturated fat and 669 mg sodium per portion. Read more »

Makeover Your Holiday Meals with MyPlate! – Week 2

MyPlate Holiday Makeover: Green Mashed Potatoes

MyPlate Holiday Makeover: Green Mashed Potatoes

The MyPlate Team continues to share “Makeover Monday” recipes each week on the USDA blog and the MyPlate Facebook page through January 6th.

This recipe was originally created for another festive day.  But everyone loved “green-mash” potatoes so much that this family favorite became part of our Thanksgiving Feast.

Since my family has an Irish ancestry, we first started making this Green-Mash Potatoes Recipe for St. Patrick’s Day.  Green peas add a slightly sweet flavor, and the garlic and pepper gives it some zip.  The white pepper is optional, especially if serving to little kids.  A sprinkle of Kosher salt on top brings out the flavors, yet the sodium is much lower than traditional mashed potatoes.  And also, kids think the chartreuse-green color is fun! Read more »

Makeover Your Holiday Meals with MyPlate! – Week 1

A Classic Holiday Favorite: Sarah’s Green Bean Casserole

A Classic Holiday Favorite: Sarah’s Green Bean Casserole

The holiday season has finally arrived! It’s time to find your favorite family recipes and start cooking! While many of our favorite dishes help us to remember and celebrate special times, choosing healthier options can be a challenge. Let MyPlate help you find solutions with “MyPlate Holiday Makeovers.” During our eight-week series, you’ll find ways to celebrate the season with great new resources such as recipes, a new infographic, and tips for preparing your holiday feast. Read more »

MyPlate Goes To College

MyPlate On Campus Ambassadors are encouraged to use resources, such as this 10 Tips handout, to promote healthy eating to their peers.

MyPlate On Campus Ambassadors are encouraged to use resources, such as this 10 Tips handout, to promote healthy eating to their peers.

The USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion launched a new initiative this past March, MyPlate On Campus, to help spread healthy eating messages to young adults during their college years.  MyPlate On Campus is a unique program that encourages students to improve their own eating and physical activity habits as well as promote healthy eating to their peers. Most college students are emerging out on their own for the first time and perhaps vulnerable to the busy days of assignments, eating on-the-go, and making their own food decisions.  MyPlate On Campus provides students around the country with the tools to communicate the messages supporting the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans to their campus community.  Students who are interested in promoting health and wellness are invited to sign up as a MyPlate On Campus Ambassador and become a member of the USDA/CNPP Nutrition Communicators Network. Read more »

SuperTracker Announces New My Foods Feature

It’s been a little over a year since we first launched SuperTracker, and in that time we’ve loved hearing from our now over 2 million registered users – what they like about the site and ideas to make it better. We’re excited to announce a new SuperTracker feature that is based on user feedback!  It’s now possible to create My Foods – customized versions of SuperTracker foods with nutrition information that you enter.  When you search for a food in Food Tracker, just click on “customize” in the left hand column and Create My Food pops up. Nestlé Water North America created an educational Daily Buzz TV segment which reached 1.2 million viewers, as well as two Audio News Releases, which aired on nearly 1,900 stations.

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USDA’s SuperTracker Diet Tool Reaches Two Million Users

A consumer uses the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) ChooseMyPlate.gov website on Dec. 14, 2011. This is an interactive website used for creating customized healthy dietary plans that include required daily vitamins and minerals, and age and gender appropriate daily portions and calorie levels. Users can also tap tools called “Daily Food Plan,” “SuperTracker,” and “Food-a-Pedia” on this site. USDA photo by Stephen Ausmus.

SuperTracker is an interactive website used for creating customized healthy dietary plans that include required daily vitamins and minerals, and age and gender appropriate daily portions and calorie levels. Users can also tap tools called “Daily Food Plan,” “SuperTracker,” and “Food-a-Pedia” on this site. USDA photo by Stephen Ausmus.

I am pleased to report that over two million Americans are now using USDA’s SuperTracker, our online dietary planning and tracking tool!

Today, as never before, our awareness is heightened about the importance of healthy eating.  Cookbooks and diet books reign supreme in the bookstores.  There are entire TV channels devoted exclusively to food and, of course, stories of too many Twinkies, doughnuts and sodas provide constant fodder for the late night comedians.  A day doesn’t go by that new food-related research isn’t released.  Diet and health information abound on social media.  Grocery stores are constantly adding new, healthier products.  And communities across America are trying new and novel approaches to promote healthy eating. Read more »