Helpful Winter Holiday Food Preparation, Food Safety & Healthy Eating Links
Questions or comments about this page? Email Alice Henneman
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
- Preparing foods ahead
- Ingredient substitutions and cooking terms
- Cooking and menu planning helps
- Holiday food safety
- Healthy holiday cooking and eating
- Sending food gifts to the military
- Making the most of your food basket donations
- Kids Corner
- Freezing Prepared foods (includes cakes, pies, casseroles, etc. Source: University of Georgia Extension Service) pdf
- 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
- Get out of the Kitchen When Company's Coming: Cook Ahead
- 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.
- Ingredient Substitutions
If 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.
- Healthy Dietary Substitutions for Holiday Recipes pdf
Easy substitions to bump up the nutrition and decrease the fat, calories, and sodium in your recipes.
- The Cook's Thesaursaus
This site covers thousands of ingredients and suggested substitutions.
- Epicurious Food Dictionary
Food dictionary, culinary terms and cooking definitions.
- Tips for Preparing Party Appetizers (Source: Dairy Council of California)
Tips for how to plan ahead, how much to serve, and serving suggestions.
- Baking 911
Check this Web site for helpful tips for successful baking.
- Cooking Basics: Food Yields (PDF)
Use this handout from the University of Georgia Extension to help you determine how much food to buy.
- Can Size Equivalents
If you have an older recipe that calls for a "number 2 can" or a similar description, visit this link.
- 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.
- Temperature Conversion: Fahrenheit and Celsius
Helps you convert recipes from fahrenheit to celsius and vice versa.
- Quick Meals with Canned Foods (Source: Canned Food Alliance)
If you're not sure if you'll have to fix meals for guests or special events and you're short on refrigerator/freezer space, keep some canned foods on hand. (They're also great for snowy days when you rather not make a trip to the grocery store!) Check here for recipes and menu suggestions from the Canned Food Alliance.)
- Cooking Different Types of Meats
Whether you are cooking with meat, poultry or seafood, find tips and recipes at the above link. For additional information on meats and food safety, especially turkey, check HERE.
- Food Safety for Families
Use the following tips to keep your family and friends from becoming sick. Don’t let bacteria (germs) crash your holiday parties.
- Using Up Food in the Refrigerator before Leaving Town
Tips and recipes to avoid food wastes.
- 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.
- 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.
- Canning Cakes and Breads (Source: University of Georgia Extension)
Learn why this can be unsafe!
- Holiday or Party Buffets (Source USDA)
Web page Link | PDF | En Español | En Español PDF
- Brilliant Buffets (Source: fightbac.org)
- Safety Shopping List (Source: Holiday Food Safety Success Kit)
Basic food safety tools to have on hand to ensure a safe and tasty feast.
- Mail Order Food Safety | PDF | En Español | En Español PDF ( Source: USDA)
- Slow Cookers and Food Safety | PDF
- Toll-free USDA Meat & Poultry Hotline
The hotline is staffed with food safety specialists to answer food safety questions for the home cook. You may speak with a food safety specialist — in English or Spanish — from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern time on weekdays.
Call the USDA Meat & Poultry Hotline at:
Or send an Email to: email@example.com
Web page link for Hotline
- No-Show Guests Jeopardize Food (source: USDA)
When guests encounter emergencies and the meal must be delayed or cancelled, food must be handled "just right" to remain safe.
- Traveling with Food
- Holiday Food Safety (video)
Click HERE to view the video En Español
- MyFood-a-pedia (Source: MyPyramid.gov)
Find the calories and food groups for a food, or compare two foods. You can choose the amount and see how the calories add up with "add-ons."
- Healthy Holiday Videos (Source: Meal Makeover Moms)
Watch these award-winning authors, moms and dietitians give you practical holiday tips!
- Top 10 Ways to Spice Up Your Parties with Fruits & Veggies (Source: Fruits & Veggies More Matters)
Suggestions and links to recipes for including more fruits and vegetables in your holiday meals.
- Cooking with oils vs. solid fats (Source: Canolainfo.org)
If you've been advised to use more oils and less solid fats in your cooking, it usually doesn't work to directly substitute one for the other. Rather, you will be more successful by using recipes that are developed using oil. Find several recipes, from pie crusts to cookies, made with oil at this Web site.
- Tiny Tastes Can Total Big Calories over the Winter Holidays (article, video and PowerPoint)
Watch how the calories can sneak in over the holidays!
- Holiday Weight Management Tips With Brian Wansink (video)
I especially liked his tip about how to eat seconds AND thirds of foods WITHOUT overeating!
- Supporting Our Troops(Source: U.S. Postal Service)
- USDA Gives Tips on Sending Food Gifts to U.S. Military (Source: USDA)
- Mailing Food Tips (Source: University of Georgia Extension)
- Mailing Holiday Food Gifts(Source: University of Illinois Extension)
- Mailing Food Gifts to Military Friends and Family PDF (Source: Washington State University Extension)
- Mailing Food Gifts to the Military (Source: Clemson University Extension)
- Making the Most of Your Food Basket Donations (Source: University of Illinois Extension)
Making food basket donations for families for families?This site will assist you with sample menus, shopping lists, and recipes for using the food gifts.
- Smart Choices: A Healthy Food Pantry Wish List (Source: Louisiana State University AgCenter Research & Extension)
- Santa Flibriks (Source: Kaboose.com)
Help Santa find the matching tiles without hitting the bottom of the game area.
- Find the Difference (Source: Disney at familyfun.com)
Print or view this pdf page and see if you can find the differences between the two pictures of Santa's workshop.
- Holiday Coloring Pages & Activity Sheets (Source: Disney at familyfun.com)
Click on the pictures and activities you want to print.
- Sue Ellen's Scrapbook (Source: pbskids.org)
Pictures of holiday customs in other countries.
- Dress Up(Source: pbskids.org)
Drag and drop different holiday costumes to dress Sue Ellen up!
- Winter Holiday Coloring Pages (Source: Kaboose.com)
Kids can "color" winter holiday pictures online.
- Snowman (Source: Kaboose.com)
Drag the pieces to build your own snowman on this Web page.
- Winter Coloring Pages (Source: Kaboose.com)
Celebrate the wintering season by printing and coloring these pages.
- Ninja Ice Chop (Source: kids.nationalgeographic.com)
See if you can "chop" the ice blocks.
- Design and Your Own Gingerbread House (Source: www.janbrett.com)
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.
- Professor Fizzy's Lunch Lab (Source: http://pbskids.org/lunchlab)
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.
- Cookie Dough Coloring Page pdf (Source: fightbac.org)
This page warns kids about the dangers of eating raw cookie dough.