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Feeding Holiday Revelers? Let EWG’s Food Scores Help

Monday, December 15, 2014

What comes to mind when you think of the holiday season?

I think of a packed house. Kids, younger and older, are home on break.  Visitors stop by.  The neighborhood is a marathon cookie party.

Between entertaining, shuttling kids and visiting elderly parents and other family members most of us don’t have the time and energy to whip up from-scratch meals several times a day.  Yet everybody has to eat.

This year, instead of resorting to your local fast food joint, use EWG’s Food Scores database to pack the fridge and pantry with quick and healthier snacks and meals. Our new, easy-to-use food database rates more than 80,000 foods on nutrition and ingredients of concern. It also estimates the degree to which each product has been processed.

We know that most kids would rather do homework than snack on fruits and veggies during the holidays, but that’s one of the many benefits of Food Scores. We’ve made it easy to find better options regardless of the type of food you want -- whether it’s hummus, peanut butter, tortilla chips or nuts.

And if your picky eater is only interested in mac and cheese and you don’t have time to make the cheese sauce and the noodles and bake and all that, use Food Scores to find a mac and cheese mix that isn’t chock-full of sodium, trans fat and ingredients that have been linked to cancer or endocrine disruption.

If you DO have time to make home-cooked comfort food, Food Scores will pop up some great options – elbow pasta that gets a “1,” EWG’s highest mark, organic cheddar cheese and organic milk.  A little flour, butter or olive oil (no trans fat oil), and you’re in business.

Here’s a recipe for “Baked Macaroni and Cheese” from The New York Times’ Mark Bittman to get you started.

Whether from scratch or a box, you wouldn’t want to eat mac and cheese everyday because it can be heavy on butter and cheese. But everyone deserves a treat every now and then. As always, moderation is key.

Happy holidays!

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