Food, Nutrition, and Healthy by the Month

National Food Days, Weeks & Months

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Contributors:  Kayla Colgrove, MS, RD, UNL Extension in Gage County; Alice Henneman, MS, RD, UNL Extension in Lancaster County; and Lisa Franzen Castle, MS, RD, PhD, Panhandle Research and Extension Center.

Questions or comments? Email Kayla Colgrove, MS, RD, ACSM-CPT

Terms of Use for Photos and Educational Resources developed by UNL Extension. Guidelines may differ for items linked to on other sites. You are welcome to link to our calendar.

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DECEMBER

Quick Links to Days, Weeks, and Months in Calendar

Click on a link to find TIPS, RECIPES, and RESOURCES related to that day, week or month. Or simply scroll down the page.

Questions about December Calendar? Email author, Kayla Colgrove, MS, Extension Educator

National Food Days

National Food Weeks

National Food Months

DAY

Eat a Red Apple Day (December 1)

redapple

Fruits and vegetables have been shown to reduce risk of heart disease, stroke, and some cancers. Most of us have heard the phrase "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." The best part about including apples into your diet is that they are low in calories and high in dietary fiber.

The Youth / 4-H section of our website offers these fun recipes for enjoying that red apple :

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Pie Day (December 1)


pieCelebrate today by enjoying your favorite piece of pie. Choose MyPlate guidelines suggest balancing your calories. One tip from the guidelines is to enjoy your food, but eat less of it. Another tip is to avoid oversized portions. By following these guidelines, eating pie can become a part of a healthy lifestyle.

Want to learn about how to make a pie? Check out the "Pies and Cobblers" publication made by University of Kentucky Extension or  The Art of Pie Making by Utah State University Extension.

Try one of these recipes to enjoy on Pie Day:

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Make a Gift Day
(December 3)

cookie mix in a jarHere are some homemade food gift ideas from various Extension Offices around the nation:
 

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Cookie Day (December 4)
 

Enjoy these cookie recipes from the Youth / 4-H Section of our website:cookie

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Microwave oven Day (December 6)
 

microwave ovenSave Time - Microwave It! - New! Interactive Magazine (UNL Extension Zmag publication)
Need a quick meal?   Explore how to use your microwave oven for quick, easy and safe meal ideas. This interactive digital PDF magazine is packed full of videos, pop-ups and URLs to other resources.

Enjoy these microwave recipes from the Youth / 4-H Section of our website:

Make sure you know how to use the microwave safely! Many families use microwave ovens to prepare food, but accidents can occur if appliance is not used properly. Read about microwave safety do's and don'ts from UNL Extension.

Learn the latest about using your microwave oven safely and effectively from USDA on Microwave Ovens and Food Safety.

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Brownie Day (December 8)

brownie

Enjoy these brownie recipes:

Want to try a lower fat option? University of Illinois Extension in Urban Illinois wrote an article about Lowering Fat for Baking and at the bottom of the article they included a lower-fat brownie recipe.

You can substitute unsweetened applesauce or plain yogurt for oil in most bakery recipes, such as brownies and cakes.Yogurt could change the acidity of the ingredients which might affect baking soda. Also, the applesauce may not work as a total substitution or even a substitution if the recipe is one where you cream the sugar with the fat. See this section from baking911.com

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Ice Cream Day (December 13)
 

ice creamWe all scream for ice cream. Check out these delicious ice cream recipes:

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Oatmeal Muffin Day (December 19)
 

muffinAdding oatmeal to your muffins gives them a nutritional boost! Oatmeal is classified as a whole grain and can help reduce blood cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and obesity. Grabbing an oatmeal muffin makes a perfect on-the-go breakfast option. Make sure to add a glass of low-fat or nonfat milk on your way out. The best way to celebrate Oatmeal Muffin Day is to try one of these recipes:

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Pumpkin Pie Day (December 25)
 

pumpkin piePumpkin is an excellent source of vitamin A. Pumpkin pie is a great way to get vitamin A into your diet.

Try these delicious recipes:

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WEEK
Handwashing Awareness Week (1st Full Week of December)


handwashingUse our FREE Handwashing materials to promote clean hands! Watch funny and informative videos that promote handwashing.

Handwashing is the most effective way to prevent the spread of illness according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Help promote handwashing at your work or community site with these FREE materials!

More handwashing resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Henry the Hand website.

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MONTH
Egg Nog Month
 
egg nogBeware of drinking eggnog made with raw eggs during the holidays! Many older classic holiday recipes call for raw eggs. This cooking practice is not considered safe because of possible Salmonella infection. Here are some resources if you want to drink eggnog:

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Food Safety Tips for the Holiday


holiday mealMake sure to keep your family and friends safe during the holidays. Food safety may not be important for you during the holidays, but it is essential in order to keep your family and friends from getting a foodborne illness. These resources will help keep your family and friends safe during the holidays:

For additional turkey safety tips, see our Thanksgiving section.

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Fruit Cake Month

fruit cake

The University of Illinois Extension wrote a great article about Fruitcake for the Holidays. The article stated, "Fruitcake is traditionally a heavy spiced cake that includes lots of dried and/or candied fruits and nuts." At the end of the article they include an Orange Slice "Fruit" Cake recipe.

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Healthy Holiday Tips
 

holiday mealAvoiding Holiday Weight Gain (Not a special day ... but a recurring theme throughout the month!)

Extra calories can sneak in over the holidays. They don't always come in large portions, but can tiptoe in through tiny tastes throughout the day. We hope you enjoy viewing our slide show and learning more! (Directions for downloading a related PowerPoint are found below the slide show.)


LINK for downloading FREE "Tiny Tastes Total BIG Calories over the Winter Holidays" PowerPoint

  1. IMPORTANT: RIGHT click on the ABOVE red link. A pop-up box should appear.
  2. LEFT Click on the option offered by your browser: Either "Save target as..." or "Save link as..."

Check out these great resources to help you have a healthier holiday:

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Pear Month
 

pearMany fruits are out of season during the winter months. Pears are available fresh during this time.  Check out these pear resources:

For more information regarding pears, check out www.usapears.com.

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Safe Toys and Gifts Month
 

toyMany children receive toys during the holidays. Make sure to check that the toys are safe by looking at these great resources:

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December food calendar

 

Food Calendar

UNL Extension's Calendar of Food Days, Weeks, and Months is a monthly, web-based food-themed calendar. It provides resources for selected national food-themed days, weeks, and months.

We hope this provides you inspiration for blogs, tweets, programs, and articles.

~Kayla Colgrove, MS, RD, ACSM-CPT

► For more timely food tips and inspiration, visit my blog, Making HealthieRDecisions

Healthy Bites Newsletter

woman cooking

Printer-friendly PDF handouts
By Lisa Franzen Castle, MS, RD, PhD Email author

 


UNL Food Features

(Updated August 29, 2014)

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