PHILADELPHIA, PA (December 20, 2016) – Family, friends and food – they’re part of what makes the holidays such a special time of year. As part of their Healthy for Life® 20 By 20 initiative to improve the health of Americans, Aramark (NYSE: ARMK), a global leader in food, facilities management and uniforms, and one of the largest employers of registered dietitians in the world, and the American Heart Association (AHA), the nation's largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke, are helping families brighten the holidays, without sacrificing any of the flavor or fun of the season.
Aramark chefs and dietitians have joined forces with the AHA to assemble their favorite tips and recipes to encourage families to make healthier food choices during the holidays.
MAKE IT HOT AND HEALTHY
Nothing beats the chill of winter like warm, filling meals shared with friends and family. While hot, hearty winter comfort foods do a great job of warming you up, they can be weighed down with fat and calories. Keep these simple tips in mind to make winter favorites a bit healthier:
START WITH SMALL CHANGES
- Make soup swaps: Make soups naturally lower in fat by loading them up with beans, veggies and whole grains, and skipping the cream, butter or bacon. Choose favorites like minestrone, vegetable, split pea, chicken noodle, winter squash, black bean or beef barley for a healthier way to warm up.
- Put a twist on holiday favorites: Lighten up classic casseroles by using different ingredients. Try sweet potato casserole, without adding butter, or use mushroom barley soup in green bean casserole.
- Give stews and chili a healthy lift. Use ground turkey or make a dish vegetarian with tomatoes, pinto beans and corn. Use lean meat and simmer the stew with lots of carrots, mushrooms and other vegetables, to make a nutritious, hearty meal.
- Corral calories and fat. Keep calories and saturated fat at bay with healthy preparation methods and learner cuts of meat. Cut the fat from meatloaf by replacing the ground beef with turkey. For great flavor with less fat, grill beef top round or sirloin with a hot mustard rub, or top your roasted pork loin with a tangy cranberry glaze.
When it’s cold outside, temptations like snacking or a trip to the local coffee shop for a treat start to kick in. Making a few small changes in a daily routine can help manage unwanted weight gain during the holiday season.
STAY SAFE IN THE KITCHEN
- Snack consciously. With wintertime being indoor time, we tend to snack more. To avoid mindless snacking, set a regular snack-time as part of your daily routine and stick to it.
- Sip smarter drinks. Winter is a popular time for espresso drinks, like lattes and cappuccinos. When warming up with an espresso based drink, cut calories by asking for skim milk and non-caloric sweeteners.
- Tune into tea. There are many varieties of hot teas to choose from such as green, black or herb. Black tea and green tea are rich in antioxidants.
- Divide desserts. Treat yourself right. The best way to enjoy an occasional sweet without losing control is by sampling a selection or two, rather than having full servings. For example, have a few bites of pie, half a cookie or one small square of fudge. Find a friend or family member who will stick to the sampling rule with you.
Whether staying home or traveling, safety needs to be a priority during holiday festivities. To help you prepare for a safe and healthy holiday season, Aramark’s safety team compiled safety tips to remember.
HEALTHY HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS RECIPES
- Always wash your hands before preparing food.
- Plan ahead and thaw foods using the refrigerator.
- Have a working digital food thermometer and know what temperatures food needs to be cooked at.
- Avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
- Keep it clean! Clean kitchen counters, cutting boards, and utensils.
- Fill your dishwasher completely before use. This will reduce water and energy consumption.
If you’re cooking this holiday season, these better-for-you recipes can help. Made with wholesome ingredients and simple cooking techniques, these holiday classics are festive and delicious, but also lower in saturated fat and calories than traditional recipes.
Roast Turkey with Cranberry Orange Glaze
A traditional holiday turkey glazed with a blend of maple, orange and cranberry.
¾ cup orange marmalade
¾ cup frozen cranberry juice concentrate, thawed
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
1, 14 pound frozen whole turkey
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Combine marmalade, cranberry juice concentrate, maple syrup, vinegar and salt in small, heavy saucepan. Bring to boil on medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low and cook uncovered for 12-15 minutes, or until glaze is reduced to about 1 cup.
- Remove neck and giblets from body and neck cavities of turkey. Drain juices from turkey and pat dry turkey with paper towels. Turn wings back to hold neck skin against back of turkey.
- Place turkey, breast side up, on a flat roasting rack in a shallow pan. Brush turkey lightly with vegetable oil or cooking spray. Roast turkey for 2 hours. Cover drumsticks and breast loosely with foil to prevent overcooking of breast.
- Continue roasting turkey for another 45 minutes. Remove foil and brush generously with glaze. Return foil loosely to turkey and cook for another 45 minutes or until meat thermometer reaches 180°F when inserted into the deepest part of the thigh.
- Brush with remaining glaze. Let turkey stand for 15 minutes before carving.
Nutrition Highlights (Per Serving)
Calories: 275 Fat: 10g Sodium: 325mg
Fruity Acorn Squash Bake
The flavors of fruit and nuts baked into a holiday favorite.
2 medium acorn squash, halved lengthwise, seeded
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1, 8oz can pineapple chunks, drained, finely chopped
1 medium pear, peeled, cut into ½ inch pieces
½ cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons brown sugar
• Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut a thin slice off the bottom of each squash half to keep it from rolling; discard slices. Remove and discard seeds. Place squash halves in foiled lined baking pan; brush insides lightly with butter or margarine.
• Combine fruit and almonds in a medium bowl. Add honey and brown sugar; mix lightly. Spoon evenly into hollowed out squash halves. Brush filling with remaining butter or margarine.
• Bake 1 hour until squash is tender. Cut each squash in half again to serve.
Nutrition Highlights (Per Serving)
Calories: 160 Fat: 5g Sodium: 25mg
Crispy baked fruit topped with the goodness of whole grain oats.
6 cups apples, peaches or pears, peeled, thinly sliced
¼ cup water
¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ cup quick or old fashioned oats
3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons margarine, melted
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
non-fat frozen yogurt (optional)
- Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 8-inch square glass baking dish with cooking spray.
- For filling, combine fruit and water in large bowl. Add sugar, flour and cinnamon; stir until fruit is evenly coated. Spoon into baking dish.
- For topping, combine oats, brown sugar, oil and cinnamon in a medium bowl; mix well. Sprinkle evenly over fruit.
- Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until fruit is tender. Serve with non-fat frozen yogurt if desired.
Nutrition Highlights (Per Serving)
Calories: 170 Fat: 4g Sodium: 40mg
A fun healthy snack to bring to a party or serve at home, courtesy of the American Heart Association.
2 cups whole grain cereal
1 cup old-fashioned oats
½ cup almonds, unsalted
½ cup walnuts, unsalted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon water
½ cup raisins, no sugar added
½ cup dried cranberries, no sugar added
• Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
• Mix cereal, oats, almonds, walnuts, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a large bowl. Stir water and vanilla extract into the oat mixture; spread onto a baking sheet.
• Bake in preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, until golden brown and crunchy, about 30 minutes.
• Transfer to a bowl. Stir in raisins and cranberries.
• Store in airtight container.
Nutrition Highlights (Per Serving)
Calories: 149 Fat: 7g Sodium: 33mg
For more great holiday tips and recipes, download the American Heart Association's Holiday Healthy Eating Guide
or visit: www.aramark.com/healthyforlife
Healthy for Life® 20 By 20
, a five-year initiative launched by Aramark and the AHA in 2015, aims to improve the health of consumers across the country by 20 percent by the year 2020. It includes healthy menu commitments impacting the more than 2 billion meals Aramark serves annually, and also focuses on community health engagement as well as consumer and employee health awareness and education. To learn more about the progress made after one year, click here
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke — the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit www.heart.org or any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Aramark (NYSE: ARMK) proudly serves the world’s leading educational institutions, Fortune 500 companies, world champion sports teams, prominent healthcare providers, iconic destinations and cultural attractions, and numerous municipalities in 19 countries around the world. We deliver innovative experiences and services in food, facilities management and uniforms to millions of people every day. We strive to create a better world by making a positive impact on people and the planet, including commitments to engage our employees; empower healthy consumers; build local communities; source ethically, inclusively and responsibly; operate efficiently and reduce waste. Aramark is recognized as a Best Place to Work by the Human Rights Campaign (LGBTQ+), DiversityInc, Equal Employment Publications and the Disability Equality Index. Learn more at www.aramark.com or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.