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Small steps lead to BIG changes


Create an eating style that can improve your health now and in the future by making small changes over time. Consider changes that reflect your personal preferences, culture and traditions. Think of each change as a “win” as you build positive habits and find solutions that reflect your healthy eating style.


  • Focus on whole fruits more often than drinking 100% juice.
  • Vary your veggies to include green, red, and orange choices.
  • Choose whole-grain foods more often than refined grains. Make at least half the amount of grains you eat each day whole grains.
  • Buy low-fat or fat-free cheese more often than regular cheese.
  • Mix up your protein foods to include seafood, beans, nuts, seeds, soy, eggs, lean meats, and poultry.
  • Read the Nutrition Facts labels to find products with less saturated fat and sodium.
  • Cut back on sugary beverages such as fruit drinks and soda.


Make Healthier Holiday Choices

1. Create MyPlate Makeovers

Makeover your favorite holiday dishes. Use My Recipe on SuperTracker to improve holiday recipes and get healthier results.

For ideas, click here.

2. Enjoy all the food groups at your celebration

Prepare whole-grain crackers with hummus as an appetizer; add unsalted nuts and black beans to a green-leaf salad; use low-fat milk instead of heavy cream in your casseroles. Share healthier options during your holiday meal.

3. Make sure your protein is lean

Turkey; roast beef; fresh ham; beans; and some types of fish, such as cod or flounder, are lean protein choices. When serving meats, trim away any fat before cooking. Go easy on the sauces and gravies―they can be high in saturated fat and sodium.

4. Cheers to good health

Quench your thirst with low-calorie options. Drink water with lemon or lime slices. Offer seltzer water with a splash of 100% fruit juice.

5. Bake healthier

Use recipes with unsweetened applesauce or mashed ripe bananas instead of butter. Try cutting the amount of sugar listed in recipes in half. Use spices to add flavor such as cinnamon, allspice, or nutmeg instead of salt.

6. Tweak the sweet

For dessert, try baked apples with cinnamon and a sprinkle of sugar instead of apple pie. Invite your guests to make their own parfait with colorful sliced fruit and low-fat yogurt.

7. Be the life of the party

Laugh, mingle, dance, and play games. Focus on fun and enjoy the company of others.

8. Make exercise part of the fun

Make being active part of your holiday tradition. Have fun walking and talking with family and friends after a holiday meal. Give gifts that encourage others to practice healthy habits such as workout DVDs, running shoes, and reusable water bottles.

9. Enjoy leftovers

Create delicious new meals with your leftovers. Add turkey to soups or salads. Use extra veggies in omelets, sandwiches, or stews. The possibilities are endless!

10. Give to others

Spend time providing foods or preparing meals for those who may need a little help. Give food to a local food bank or volunteer to serve meals at a shelter during the holiday season.

Adapted from the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion’s Web site.