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Tips for staying healthy this Thanksgiving

The Rhode Island Department of Health encourages Rhode Islanders to take steps to make health part of their holiday this Thanksgiving. This holiday is a wonderful opportunity to spend time with people you love, which is what we mean by health. Below are some tips to stay healthy.

Taste, don't gorge. To avoid extra calories: • Eat small portions. • Don't add extra butter or salt. • Drink water instead of sugary drinks. • Don't fill up on snacks. • Consume alcohol in moderation (and if you do, use a sober driver).

In addition to eating healthy, find ways to incorporate some physical activity into your holiday routine. To get moving: • Take a walk before or after your meal. • Play with the kids—touch football, dance, hide and seek. • Do something interactive with guests instead of just watching TV, like playing a game of charades. • If you are watching the game, take a quick walk at half-time.

Remember to keep food safe to prevent food borne illness from ruining your Thanksgiving dinner. Be sure to: • Wash hands and food-contact surfaces often. • Keep raw meat and their juices away from ready-to-eat food. • Cook foods to proper temperatures. Cook turkey or stuffing to 165°F and use a meat thermometer to check the temperature. It is recommended to cook the stuffing separately from the turkey to ensure it reaches the proper temperature. • Debone the turkey as soon as possible and divide it into smaller portions to cool quickly under refrigeration. Do not let turkey, stuffing, or gravy sit out at room temperature.

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