Helpful Winter Holiday Food Preparation, Food Safety & Healthy Eating Links

Questions or comments about this page? Email Alice Henneman

holiday meal

Need an ingredient substitution, an answer to a baking or other food preparation question, advice on preparing foods ahead? Healthy food ideas for the holidays? Help can be just a click away. Here are some helpful holiday links. Look for highlighted links that are also available En Español

PinterestFollow and/or repin from our Happy Healthy Holidays Pinterest Board for timely and food safety and preparation recommendations.

Quick links to specific sections

  1. Preparing foods ahead
  2. Ingredient substitutions and cooking terms
  3. Cooking and menu planning helps
  4. Holiday food safety
  5. Healthy holiday cooking and eating
  6. Sending food gifts to the military
  7. Making the most of your food basket donations
  8. Kids Corner

Preparing foods ahead

  1. Freezing Prepared foods (includes cakes, pies, casseroles, etc. Source: University of Georgia Extension Service) pdf

    cookie sheet
  2. Freezing Convenience Foods that You've Prepared at Home (includes various baked goods as well as other menu items. Source: Pacific Northwest Extension Publication) pdf

  3. Get out of the Kitchen When Company's Coming: Cook Ahead
  4. Food Safety Checklist for "Planned-over" Foods (PDF) Save time by making extra food for one meal that still tastes good and is safe to eat at a later meal.

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Ingredient substitutions and cooking terms

  1. Ingredient Substitutions
    3 teaspoons of different types of sugarIf you're in the middle of holiday cooking with no time to run to the store for a missing ingredient, look here for a possible substitute. Includes a handy print-friendly chart.
  2. Healthy Dietary Substitutions for Holiday Recipes pdf
    Easy substitions to bump up the nutrition and decrease the fat, calories, and sodium in your recipes.
  3. The Cook's Thesaursaus
    This site covers thousands of ingredients and suggested substitutions.

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Cooking and menu planning helps 

  1. Baking 911
    Check this Web site for helpful tips for successful baking.
  2. Cooking Basics: Food Yields (PDF) woman reading cookbook
    Use this handout from the University of Georgia Extension to help you determine how much food to buy.
  3. Can Size Equivalents
    If you have an older recipe that calls for a "number 2 can" or a similar description, visit this link.
  4. Measurement Equivalents (Source: Agricultural Research Service)
    Check here if you're trying to adjust the measurements in a recipe from teaspoons to tablespoons to cups to quarts and so on.
  5. Temperature Conversion: Fahrenheit and Celsius
    Helps you convert recipes from fahrenheit to celsius and vice versa.

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Holiday food safety

  1. Food Safety for Familiesfight bac image warning about raw cookie dough
    Use the following tips to keep your family and friends from becoming sick. Don’t let bacteria (germs) crash your holiday parties.
  2. Using Up Food in the Refrigerator before Leaving Town
    Tips and recipes to avoid food wastes.

  3. How to Tell if Your Freezer Power Was Off when You Were Away
    Learn a simple, no-cost way to to detect if your power went off when you were gone.
  4. Classic Cooked Eggnog  (Source: American Egg Board)
    Many older classic holiday recipes call for raw eggs. This cooking practice is not considered safe because of possible Salmonella infection. Check this link to the American Egg Board for a cooked version of eggnog. Another option for egg nog is to buy a ready-to-drink egg nog, available in the dairy case at most stores during the holidays.
  5. Canning Cakes and Breads (Source: University of Georgia Extension)
    Learn why this can be unsafe!
  6. Holiday or Party Buffets (Source USDA)
    Web page Link  | PDF En Español 


red arrowClick HERE to view the video  En Español

Healthy holiday cooking and eating

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Sending food gifts to the military

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Making the most of your food basket donationsbasket

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children doing crafts

  1. Holiday Coloring Pages & Activity Sheets (Source: Disney at
    Click on the pictures and activities you want to print.

  2. Sue Ellen's Scrapbook (Source:
    Pictures of holiday customs in other countries.
  3. Dress Up (Source:
    Drag and drop different holiday costumes to dress Sue Ellen up!

  4. Winter Holiday Coloring Pages (Source:
    Kids can "color" winter holiday pictures online.
  5. Winter Coloring Pages (Source:
    Celebrate the wintering season by printing and coloring these pages.
  6. Ninja Ice Chop (Source:
    See if you can "chop" the ice blocks.
  7. Design and Your Own Gingerbread House (Source:
    Drag and drop the candy decorations on the house. You can print out your finished house. You also can share this page with a friend so they can make their own gingerbread house.
  8. Professor Fizzy's Lunch Lab (Source:
    While not specifically for the holidays, this PBS Web site is full of videos, music, games and characters to promote healthy eating for children. A great site to send younger children to, while you're cooking for the holidays.
  9. Cookie Dough Coloring Page pdf (Source:
    This page warns kids about the dangers of eating raw cookie dough.

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