Hannibal Regional Blog


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

#1 Go Light.
Rather than having a heavy filling meal when you're outside in the heat, make fresh fruits and salads the main course. Grill meat with olive oil, or a light marinade/seasoning rub instead of adding heavy sauces.

#2 Start an Active Tradition.
Be it an annual family kickball tournament, neighborhood volleyball game, a pre-dinner hike, or a casual family walk, an annual activity will be a welcome event to any July 4th celebration. Not only will it get everyone's blood pumping (and put them in a good mood) but it will also create memories.

#3 Stay hydrated.
It is safe to say that July is hot! Have water with you at all times, and drink consistently throughout the day. Prevent your body from overheating by being mindful of the length of time spent doing physical activity. Keep plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables on hand which are packed with vitamins, fiber, and water.

#4 Protect your skin.
Ultraviolet (UV) rays can reach you on cloudy and hazy days, as well as bright and sunny days. The hours between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. are the most hazardous for UV exposure so use this as a window to apply sunscreen or light clothing. Keep an umbrella, hat, and sunglasses with you for good measure.

#5 Leave the fireworks to the professionals.
While fireworks are fun and beautiful, it's important to understand how dangerous they can be. Most towns organize a big display -- run by professionals -- go to those. No reason to ruin your day by a trip to the Emergency Department with a firework injury.

#6 Keep cold food cold and hot food hot.
Be sure you cook all of your food to the recommended temperatures to destroy any harmful bacteria. Keep things that should be refrigerated in a cooler over ice until right before serving. Once food has been served, place leftover food back into cooler if planning to keep. Keep coolers of ice underneath the serving table for convenience. If you can, leave mayonnaise-based foods off the menu. For safe cooking temps visit: https://www.foodsafety.gov/food-safety-charts/safe-minimum-cooking-temperature

#7 Make sure your grill is clean.
A dirty grill can be a cesspool of germs and bacteria. After you are done grilling, do a quick cleanup of any visible debris and food. Prior to grilling, give the grill a good scrubbing and then turn up the heat and let the burner get hot before cooking. Once a year, do a deep clean to ensure your grill has a long (healthy and safe) grilling life.

#8 Bring out the lawn games.
Encourage your party guests to bring their favorite lawn games to create a more active/standing environment that is yet sociable.

#9 Choose healthy drink options.
Steer clear of sugar-laden beverages such as sweet tea, sodas, and syrupy fruit drinks. Serve a fruit-infused tea and water or carbonated water. For alcoholic beverages- choose a light beer, or a mix of club soda/100% fruit juice with your favorite hard liquor.

#10 Ditch the Sugary Dessert.
Fresh fruit is plentiful, with so many in season during the summer there is plenty to choose from. Cut up a variety of fresh fruit such as strawberries and melon into a large bowl for a fruit salad, or throw peaches, pineapple and mango on the grill to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Blog provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD
Clinical Registered Dietitian


Trying to eat a healthy diet, maintain a healthy weight and live a healthy lifestyle? You may think you are doomed with the upcoming BBQs and holiday get togethers, but no need to worry. Getting through the holidays without weight gain is do-able with a little self-motivation, realistic goals, and a PLAN! Below we have included tips to surviving the holidays without weight gain, along with a satisfying recipe, of course.

      Holiday Party Tips


  • Make a plan. Before you dive into every dish and dessert served up buffet style, check out your options. Decide what and how much you are going to eat. Get a plate and silverware, and then sit down while you eat.
  • Be realistic. Aim to maintain your weight during the holidays—not to lose weight. Eat small, lower-calorie meals during the day so you can enjoy some of those traditional holiday foods later.
  • Don’t arrive at the party famished. You’ll be more likely to overeat. Instead, eat a small, low fat snack such as yogurt, fruit and low-fat cheese or cottage cheese, or a half sandwich with lean meat before you head out to the party.
  • Keep the buffet trips to one. Choose the foods you just can’t live without or the ones that make the holidays so special to you. Take small portions, eat slowly and savor each bite.
  • Bring a healthy appetizer, such as a fruit tray, fresh veggies with a low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese dip, or a whole wheat tortilla roll up with lean deli meat, low-fat cheese and pickle. This ensures you have a healthy option.
  • Get enough sleep! Being sleep deprived can increase your appetite and lead to poor decision making.

    Easy Ways to Eat Less
  • Keep a food journal. It’s an easy way to become more aware of what you eat.
  • Choose the smallest plates, cups and bowls. You’ll be satisfied with less.
  • Be the last one to start eating.
  • Serve the food in the kitchen, rather than leaving it on the table- you’ll be less likely to get seconds.
  • Take small portions and wait 20 minutes before deciding to get seconds- you’ll probably still eat less than if you took a large portion and did not get seconds. (Plus, as an added bonus, you’ll flatter the cook!)
  • Keep a reminder of how much you have already eaten (such as toothpicks from your appetizers). This will help keep you from overeating.
  • Limit pre-snacking to a few hors d'oeuvres. Studies show that 10% of our holiday calories come from these pre-meal foods. Focus on socializing instead.

    Drinks to Your Health!
  • Alcoholic and holiday beverages tend to pack a ton of calories yet provide very little nutritional value. In addition, beverages rarely satisfy hunger because they leave our stomach quickly. Choose more zero-calorie drinks like water, sparkling water and diet beverages and treat other beverages, including 100% juice, as an occasional treat.
  • Instead of homemade or traditional eggnog (350 calories, 19g fat per 8oz), try this low-fat recipe: (see attached Powerpoint for recipe)
  • Try your favorite coffee house drink with non-fat milk or almond milk and no whipped topping. A 12-oz peppermint mocha with whole milk and whip has 360 calories and 16g fat where a 12-oz nonfat, no-whip peppermint mocha has only 240 calories and 2.5g fat). If you have diabetes or are watching carbohydrate intake, try using Splenda, Stevia or other type of sugar substitute to save on calories and carbohydrates. Of course, with any sweetened beverage or treat, portion and moderation is key!
  • Keep the alcoholic beverages to 1-2 drinks. This will save you empty calories and keep you healthy!

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