Hannibal Regional Blog


Our blog offers content about healthcare, healthy living and the culture at Hannibal Regional.

Making half of your lunch and dinner plate vegetables can help pack fiber and other nutrients into our meals. Non-starchy vegetables, those vegetables other than peas, corn and potatoes, only contain about 25 calories per cup. With so few calories, their fiber content can help increase satiety and facilitate weight loss. Some enjoy vegetables simply raw or steamed but many struggle to get in the recommended 2-3 cups of veggies daily.

What is considered a serving? 1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables and 2 cups of raw leafy greens are considered a 1 cup serving of vegetables. Hide vegetables in casseroles or desserts or get creative with side dishes. Roasted Lemon-Garlic Mixed Vegetables is a favorite recipe that requires little prep but tastes great.

Roasted Lemon-Garlic Mixed Vegetables

Nutrition Facts Amount Per Portion
Total Calories 113 calories
Protein 1 g
Carbohydrate 12 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Total Sugars 3 g
Added Sugars 0 g
Total Fat 7 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g

4 servings

What You Need:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • ½ tsp Nu-salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp parsley
  • 1 Tbsp Italian herbs
  • 1.5 cups baby potatoes, halved
  • 1.5 cups baby carrots, halved
  • 1 cup red onion, sliced

What You Do:

  • In large mixing bowl, toss all ingredients together.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Place veggies in a 9”x13” baking dish.
  • Roast for 30-40 minutes uncovered until potatoes are tender. 

Blog post provided by:
Megan Kemp, RDN, LD

Healthy swaps for snacks and holiday foodSome traditional foods are essential to our personal holiday experiences, connecting us to loved ones past and present and fulfilling us in ways beyond what any nutritional facts label could measure. These should be savored and enjoyed for what they are.

But most of the edibles at holiday parties don’t have nearly that status, and there is more than one option which can satisfy that sweet or salty craving. In those cases, choosing smartly means you get to enjoy bigger portions that are usually better for you too. These party swaps illustrate just how much more bang for your calorie buck you can get, without sacrificing a drop of holiday spirit.

7 potato chips vs. 17 pistachios
75 calories
Both bring a salty crunch by the handful, but you can have more than twice as many pistachios as potato chips for the same calories, and the nuts also have a wealth of nutrients. Plus, getting them shell-on means built-in portion control, because cracking them slows you down and the shells pile up, so you can see how many you have eaten.

1 tablespoon sour-cream based dip vs. 6 tablespoons salsa
30 calories
Besides the huge portion difference per calorie, tomato-based salsas provide antioxidants and vitamin C.

3 restaurant style tortilla chips vs. 20 pieces raw vegetables

60 calories
Taking advantage of the cut-vegetable platter means exponentially more crunchy dipping power than you get with chips. Health-wise, the more vegetables the better!

2 mini pigs in blankets vs. 9 jumbo cocktail shrimp
116 calories
For the same calories, you get more than four times as many shrimp, and that volume alone will leave you feeling more satisfied. Plus, the shrimp provide more protein and essential minerals, without any of the unhealthy fat or nitrates.

1 mug eggnog with rum vs. 4 flutes champagne
380 calories
I’m not saying you should drink four glasses of champagne; I’m saying you could for the same number of calories as a mug of spiked eggnog. But even one or two flutes of those tiny bubbles makes a gathering feel like a real celebration!

1 small square gingerbread cake vs. 8 small gingerbread men
260 calories
Get your annual gingerbread fix strategically by going for the cookies rather than the cake. They are much lower in calories and also cuter.

1 cup spiced cider vs. 4 cups spiced tea with 1 teaspoon honey

80 calories
There is nothing like a warm, fragrant beverage to take the chill off and bring you into the cozy zone. If you have the choice, go for an apple-cinnamon or chai spiced tea for the same effect as cider but with zero calories (without sweetener) and only 20 calories a cup with a touch of honey.

3/4 cup mini pretzel twists vs. 3 cups popcorn

Popcorn is not just a fun party food but also a whole grain, and it is voluminous, so the portion size is generous. The equivalent in pretzels (although still a low calorie snack) is skimpy when compared to popcorn.

1 chocolate truffle vs. 9 mini candy canes
105 calories
Besides the fact that nine slow-dissolving candies will last much longer than one chocolate morsel, you can have a chocolate truffle anytime. It’s candy-cane season — so make the most of it!

Reference: “Forget the eggnog and grab champagne instead (and other smart holiday swaps”), By Ellie Krieger.

Blog post provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD
Nutrition Services
Hannibal Regional

roasted chicken and vegetables

This is the perfect holiday meal as it allows for quick and easy preparation as well as very easy clean up (just one dirty pan!). You can use any veggies your family likes, or that you have on hand. Plus, if there are any leftovers you have many different meals you could make out of them. Cooking a whole chicken is really the way to go. It is often cheaper per pound, your family has their preference of white or dark meat and you can add only the seasonings/ingredients that you like. Use leftover chicken to make chicken salad or a wrap for a quick lunch or snack, chicken tacos, chicken noodle soup, chicken spaghetti, or other type of casserole.

Roasted Chicken and Vegetables
1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken
Salt and pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs of thyme
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 large yellow onion, cut into 8ths
4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
4 potatoes cut into 2-inch chunks
1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, and cut into wedges
Olive oil

Remove chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Liberally salt and pepper the inside and outside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, lemon halves, and garlic. In a large roasting pan, rub the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Toss the veggies (whatever ones you choose) with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top. Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh (internal temperature of 165 degrees). Cover with aluminum foil and let rest for about 20 minutes. Slice chicken and serve.

Blog post provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD
Nutrition Services
Hannibal Regional

grilled vegetablesChoose more fruit and vegetables! Portion out 1 cup portions of fruit and vegetables into Ziploc bags or 1-cup Tupperware containers for an easy and portable snack on the go.

Avoid using full fat mayo. Instead choose light miracle whip and plain nonfat yogurt for macaroni salads, chicken/tuna salad and spreads. Try fat free Italian dressing for pasta salads and marinades.

Make your own marinade for meats. Use vinegars, 100% fruit juice, herbs and spices to add flavor to meat without all the excess sauce. Oils should be used in very small amounts.

Drink cautiously! Juice, spritzers and alcoholic beverages pack a lot of calories with little nutritional value.

When dining out, do your homework first! Take advantage of online menus and nutritional facts. Choose baked, broiled, steamed and grilled entrees.

Restaurants often serve up large portions. Share your meal with a friend or spouse, ask for half portions or ask for a to-go box to take half your meal home for a later meal.

When ordering at a restaurant, don’t be afraid for ask! Ask for sauces, dressings and butter to be served on the side. Ask for them to not bring the rolls or chips and salsa to the table while you wait. Ask for steamed vegetables as a substitute for other sides.


Blog post provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD,
Nutrition Services
Hannibal Regional