That Sunday snacking can add up to unwanted pounds. Here’s how to do it healthfully. Plus, careful financial practices this year can save you taxes next, and how to stay on top of toy recalls.
Healthy snacking means sandwiches made
with lean meats and drinking light alcohol.
Pre-game, exercise by tossing the ball.
Planning a Super Bowl party for next month, but wondering how to honor your resolution to eat sensibly?
Registered dietitian Gabrielle Snyder-Marlow, manager of food and nutrition services for Eugene du Pont Preventive Medicine at Christiana Care, says to serve portions of heavy foods carefully, substitute low-fat, low-calorie snack foods for other munchies, and eliminate alcohol or offer light-alcohol options.
“The culprits that get us into trouble at Super Bowl parties are high-fat snack foods and mindless eating, which leads to large portions and alcohol consumption,” Snyder-Marlow says.
So instead of serving chicken wings, which are high in fat, try coating chicken tenders with hot sauce and dashes of red and black pepper. Spray a baking sheet with butter-flavored cooking spray, arrange the tenders on the tray, then spray them. Roast at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, then serve with light blue cheese dressing and celery sticks.
For healthy football chili, prepare your favorite recipe with extra lean ground beef. Serve with shredded light cheddar, a spoonful of light sour cream, and baked tortilla chips. The calories kick in on ample spoonfuls of sour cream, so be careful.
You can also set up a buffet of healthy sandwiches. Offer whole grain and rye bread, lean meats such as grilled chicken breasts, lean deli meats such as roast beef and turkey, homemade barbecued pork loin and reduced-fat cheeses. Pile on the lettuce, tomato and pickles. Finish with gourmet mustards and light salad dressings.
Your munchie station should include baked chips and salsa, mini fruit kabobs, apple slices with individual portions of caramel dip, homemade Chex mix (go light on the added fat) and light microwave popcorn.
Replacing regular beer with light beer saves 30 to 50 calories per 12-ounce bottle. Make wine coolers with club soda or a diet beverage.
And if the weather is nice before the game, organize your own game in the yard. An hour of exercise will burn considerable calories, enabling you to enjoy your feast even more. If you’re not a player, cheer on the sidelines or go for a jog.
Mattel recalled the Batman Magna Fight
Wing due to loose magnets that could be
swallowed by children.
Toy Story: Stay on Top of Hazards
Among the top 10 pediatric health issues for the Nemours Foundation’s Center for Children’s Health this year: Toy recalls.
Some of America’s most popular playthings have been stripped from stores in recent weeks, including Mattel’s Sarge toys from the movie “Cars,” Batman figures, Barbie dolls, Doggie Daycare and Polly Pocket play sets because of the health and safety hazards they pose.
The Wilmington-based Center for Children’s Health addresses the issue through its KidsHealth website, the largest online source for doctor-approved health information about children.
The recalls have raised new concerns about how to choose safe toys and how to keep unsafe toys out of kids’ hands. Since many of the recalls addressed concerns about lead paint, new attention is being paid to the risks of lead poisoning (when chronic exposure triggers a host of behavioral, learning and developmental problems).
The 7.3 million Polly Pocket play sets and 1.5 million die-cast Sarge cars could either have lead paint or contain harmful small magnets. Swallowing more than one magnet could cause intestinal damage and other injuries, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Mattel’s Fisher-Price brand is also affected. Nearly 1 million of its Dora the Explorer, Diego and Sesame Street toys have been recalled because they could contain toxic levels of lead paint. The CPSC also recalled 1.5 million Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway toys.
KidsHealth reminds parents that toys and children’s jewelry must meet federal and industry standards for safety. The products are not, however, approved by a federal agency before they’re sold. Companies are expected to comply with the standards, whether they manufacture products here or import them. Testing, usually by an independent laboratory, is the only way companies can make sure products meet safety standards.
Parents can stay on top of the latest recalls by:
• Signing up for regular CPSC email announcements of recalls and other news. Go to www.cpsc.gov.
• Checking the site’s list of recalled items.
• Registering every new product you purchase by returning the manufacturer’s registration card.
William F. Winters
Photograph by Amanda Waide
Leaping Through Loopholes
Tax time. It’s never too late to start thinking about your 2008 filing. Looking for a few ways to save money? Certified public accountant William F. Winters of Mitten & Winters of Dover says to keep the following in mind throughout the calendar year.
Review the year’s capital gains and losses on your stocks to determine if there is any advantage to selling stock before the calendar year closes.
If you bought a hybrid vehicle, there is a tax return credit allowed for qualified vehicles purchased in 2007.
Make sure any qualified dependent care expenses are paid in full if child care credit is not maximized.
Remember to support your favorite charity before the end of the year. Make sure to keep a bank record or acknowledgement from the charity. Donations made by credit card may be claimed if the card was used to make the donation this year, but the bill won’t be paid till next year.
If you volunteer for a non-profit organization, document mileage to and from board meetings and work. You may be able to claim those miles as a tax-exempt donation.
If you own rental properties, you can deduct mileage driven in the course of work on the property and related business. Keep careful track by keeping a small log of the dates and
mileage in the car.
Those individuals who like to play the slots or enjoy other gambling venues can offset taxes to be paid on winnings with losses. If you itemize your taxes, you will need official documentation for those gains and losses.
Avoid leaving a balance in your flexible spending accounts. With most, you lose it if you don’t use it. But read the plans carefully first.
If you’ve acquired a new home, review the settlement sheet for deductible items, such as points and real estate taxes.
If you qualify, you can make a 2007 contribution up to $4,000 by April 15 to your IRA (Roth, deductible or nondeductible). You may also be able to make catch-up contributions. Remember: Eligibility requirements and income limitations vary among the different IRAs.