Northeast Region Newsletter, December 2022

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‘Tis the Season for Spending

by Kimberly Butcher

The holidays are official among us and for many it can be a stressful time. It is important to keep your reason for the season and your budget in perspective. According to a survey by LendingTree, 36% of consumers went into debt last holiday season. Making a holiday budget ahead of time will help you stay on target with your spending. Here are some ideas to consider this holiday season.

  • Start off by making a list of who you need to buy gifts for and how much you plan on spending on them.
  • Use cash as much as possible. Limit the use of credit cards since they make it very easy to spend more than planned.
  • Keep your eye out for any sales or coupons for gifts, holiday decorations, and food items you may need.
  • Start shopping early next year. Many people shop year around and are always on the lookout for holiday gifts. Clearance racks and shelves are a great place for bargains.
  • Homemade gifts are a great way to personalize a gift without breaking your budget.
  • Keep track of spending. If you must use credit cards, pay them off as quickly as possible. Your best bet is to pay it off in one lump sum.
  • Remember, the holiday season is not about how much money you spend but rather the memories you make with the ones you love. Follow these tips to put yourself in the best position to be financially successful in the coming new year.

    Activity Corner

    by Ana Gouge

    The holidays are a time where we tend to let go of our diets and binge on holiday goodies. The average person consumes a whopping 5,000 to 6,000 calories during a holiday meal, including alcohol. It would take 12 hours of walking at a brisk pace to burn this many calories off.

    This is a great time of the year to find moments to take a family walk or play games outside. These small changes help to burn those pesky holiday calories! Take some time after your big meal to take a stroll instead of a snooze. This will help your body to promote digestion and to burn just a few of the calories.

    Spend the evening playing active minute to win-it games as a family or even a fun game of charades!

    Minute to Win-It: Jingle in the Trunk

    Supplies Required:

  • Two empty Kleenex boxes
  • Belt or strap to attach boxes to
  • 16 Jingle Bells
  • Hot glue an empty tissue box to some belting and add a buckle so that people could adjust it to their own size. I made two so that two people could compete against each other and I put 8 jingle bells in each box. The object is to shake your hips so that you bounce the bells out of the box. The first one to empty their box wins. Play some fun holiday tunes to get everyone moving!

    Food Safe Families

    by Markaye Russell

    The holiday season is full of festive events, good food and cherished memories. However, it can also be a time for more stress, unhealthy eating and getting sick. Below are seven tips for staying healthy during the holidays below.

    • Keep moving! Although days are shorter and your schedule may be full, try to devote time to being active. Take a short walk while on break at work or do a free walking video after your morning coffee. Playing hide-and-go seek, building a fort, or having a jump rope contest are easy and fun ways to help the whole family stay active. Research shows being active can strengthen your immune system, decrease stress, and help keep unwanted weight off.
    • Focus on fun, not food and drinks! Swap out the usual cookie baking tradition or gingerbread house decorating and establish a nonfood based holiday tradition like making homemade ornaments or volunteering.
    • Get enough sleep! Being tired can lead to increased stress, low energy and making unhealthy eating and drinking decisions. Try to stick to a regular bedtime every night.
    • Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast! Skipping meals can lead to you making unhealthy choices and overeating at a later meal. If your schedule is busy, plan, and pack a snack so you don’t have an excuse.
    • Drink water! Colder weather and indulging in holiday party drinks can make us forget we still need to drink water. Bring a water bottle with you wherever you go to help remind you to stay hydrated.
    • Try healthier holiday favorites! Try to change recipes or ingredients for your favorite holiday dishes to make them healthier.
    • Drink water! Colder weather and indulging in holiday party drinks can make us forget we still need to drink water. Bring a water bottle with you wherever you go to help remind you to stay hydrated.

    Healthy Recipe Box:

    by Cathy Agan

    Hot Fruit Salad


  • 16 ounces chunky applesauce
  • 30 ounces sliced canned peaches, drained
  • 30 ounces sliced canned pears, drained
  • 20 ounces canned mandarin oranges, drained
  • 30 ounces canned pineapple chunks, drained
  • 21 ounces cherry pie filling
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • Directions:

    Add first five ingredients to slow cooker, gently stir to combine. Pour cherry pie filling over fruit mixture. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon over top. Cover and cook on low in slow cooker 3 to 4 hours. Serve warm.

    Nutrition Facts:

    Calories per Serving: 188, Saturated Fat per Serving: 0g, Total Fat per Serving: 0.1g, Dietary Fiber per Serving: 3.5g, Carbohydrates per Serving: 45.8 g, Sodium per Serving: 12 mg, Protein per Serving: 1g


    Catahoula/Concordia Parishes, Ana Gouge, (318) 414-6055, LSU AgCenter.

    CDC Food Systems Coordinator, Cecilia Stevens, (318) 435-2908, LSU AgCenter.

    East Carroll/Morehouse Parishes, Jocinda Jackson, (318) 559-1459, LSU AgCenter.

    East Carroll/West Carroll Parishes, Carolyn Robinson, 318-559-0060 Southern University.

    Franklin/Caldwell Parishes/FCS Regional Coordinator, Quincy Vidrine, (318) 435-2903, LSU AgCenter.

    Madison/Tensas Parishes, Joy Sims, (318) 574-2465, LSU AgCenter.

    Morehouse/Union Parishes, Marianna Langston, 318-368-9935, Southern University.

    Ouachita Parish, Cathy Agan, (318) 323-2251, LSU AgCenter.

    Ouachita/Morehouse Parishes, Kimberly Butcher, (318) 323-2251, LSU AgCenter.

    Ouachita/Union Parishes, Markaye Russell, (318) 323-2251, LSU AgCenter.

    Richland/West Carroll Parishes, Brittney Newsome, (318) 281-5741, LSU AgCenter.

    For the latest research-based information on just about anything,
    visit our website:
    Matt Lee, LSU Vice President for Agriculture
    Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station, Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service, LSU College of Agriculture.
    The LSU AgCenter and LSU provide equal opportunities in programs and employment.
    If you need an ADA accommodation for your participation, please contact Quincy Vidrine, (318) 435-2903, at least two weeks prior to the event.
    The LSU AgCenter provides equal opportunities in programs and employment.

    Upcoming Events

    Home Food Preservation Training - Franklin Parish: Please contact Quincy L. Vidrine at 318-623-5217 for more information.

    Work-Out Wednesdays (virtual) - Ouachita Parish: Please contact Cathy Agan for more information.

    Franklin Healthy Communities Coalition Meeting - Franklin Parish: December 5, 2022 at the Scott Center in Winnsboro, LA starting at 2PM.

    KidChef Healthy Holiday Snacks - Franklin Parish: December 10, 2022 at First Baptist Church Crowville from 9AM to 12PM.

    Crowville Community Walk Audit - Franklin Parish: December 14, 2022 at 11AM at the First Baptist Church of Crowville.

    Teen Cuisine, Session 5: Holiday Cooking - Franklin Parish: December 15, 2022 at 4:15PM at First Baptist Church Crowville.

    Community Forum - Franklin Parish: December 19, 2022, at 5PM Crowville Community Center on Football Field Road. Healthy Communities Discussion about grant opportunities for Crowville with a focus on walkability.

    Let’s Eat for the Health of It - Caldwell Parish: Adult Health Series in January 2023. Contact Quincy Vidrine for more information.

    Caldwell Parish Library - Caldwell Parish: Dates and times TBA. Contact: Krissten Medlin, SNAP Ed Nutrition Educator @ 318-649-2663.

    12/22/2022 2:54:19 PM
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