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IPGGutenbergUKLtd/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Thanksgiving holiday often means spending time with family, watching football or parades, and eating turkey dinner until your pants are at risk of splitting. But if you're concerned about literally busting a gut, we've compiled a few helpful tips on enjoying your Thanksgiving meal without the gluttony.

Should you eat a delicious turkey dinner with candied yams, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce, gravy, bread and butter and a slice (or two) of pecan pie? Maybe not after realizing that you'll be consuming at least 1,813 calories, according to the USDA.

And that number excludes all the hors d'oeuvres and alcohol factored in. A single deviled egg can add another 77 calories in just a few quick bites and a glass of red wine means another 125 calories, based on USDA estimates.

A hearty Thanksgiving meal will likely come in at 2,092 calories, more than the 2,000 calories recommended per day for a moderately active woman between the ages of 26 and 45. For a moderately active man between the ages of 26 and 45, the recommended daily calorie allowance is 2,600.

Jessica Bennett, an registered dietitian at Vanderbilt University, said what she finds most concerning is that many people use the Thanksgiving feast as a way to kick off a holiday season of eating.

"What I see a lot is they enjoy it and make excuses all throughout the holiday and then want to start something drastic in January," said Bennett.

She said there are a few ways to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner without feeling stuffed. Bennett recommends looking at the entire buffet before going in and only picking the foods you're most excited about.

She also cautioned against waiting to eat until the big meal is served.

"I would recommend having a small to medium size breakfast and lunch and having a healthy snack and some fruit and nuts," Bennett said. "Drinking water is another trick to help."

Bennett also recommends eating slowly, which can help your body signal fullness.

"If you eat fast you’re not going to get the signal that you're full," Bennett said. "Eating with your non-dominant hand can help you slow down."

Bennett said holiday weight gain is real and that people gain on average of one to two pounds per holiday season.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The number of babies who die because of crib bumpers appears to have increased in recent years, despite warnings from pediatricians, according to a new study.

Data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission show 48 deaths attributable to the comforter-like padding from 1985-2012. If you divide that 28-year span into four equal time periods, the first three show an average of eight deaths, while the last -- 2006-2012 -- shows 23 deaths.

The danger is suffocation, and most of the deaths were determined to have been preventable had a crib bumper not been used.

Another 146 non-fatal suffocation incidents happened during the 28-year span due to crib bumpers. The average age of those who died was 4.6 months; in non-fatal incidents it was 7.4 months.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended against crib bumper use since January 2008, and safety requirements have been in place for safe bumper design and use. Even then, deaths have not decreased and bumpers remain widely available and advertised.

The study, published Tuesday in the Journal of Pediatrics, goes on to recommend that the only way to prevent suffocation and near suffocation in children is to have the CPSC ban traditional bumpers for sale in the U.S. at a national level.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year? Before you start cooking, make sure your hands are clean to avoid contaminating the food with any bacteria.

This is especially important after handling a raw turkey.

"[Y]ou want to make sure you wash your hands for a full 20 seconds," says food safety expert Chris Bernstein from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

As for the turkey itself, washing it won't make it any safer, Bernstein says.

"You should never wash a turkey or any meat for that matter before cooking. It's nearly impossible to wash bacteria off poultry, not just turkey," he explains.

Another tip to reduce the chance of contamination: Keep raw food away from cooked food. Make sure to use separate cutting boards and plates, and clean utensils, Bernstein says.

When it's time to serve the turkey, make sure the meat has been properly cooked before bringing it out to your guests.

"For the turkey, that is 165 degrees and it should be checked in the inner most part of the breast, inner most part of the thigh and the inner most part of the wing," Bernstein notes.

And if there are any leftovers, put them away in the fridge within two hours to make sure that no new bacteria grows, he says.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Fuse/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

There are many types of birth control pills, so how do you know if you're taking the right one for you?

While they all serve the same purpose, not all oral contraceptives are created equally. Combination pills contain both estrogen and progestin -- the same hormones your body makes, just in different amounts.

Whether you're on a generic or brand name version, you should look for two key things on the package: The dose of estrogen and the type of progestin.

To find the estrogen dose, look at the numbers. There will be a higher number, like 20, 25 or 30. I recommend trying the lowest number possible.

Next, look for the progestin. Ones starting with the letter "N" or the letter "L" have the lowest associated clotting risk.

Keep in mind that as a method of contraception, the pill has an 8 percent failure rate with typical use, so condoms are key if you don't want to get pregnant.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Courtesy of Kristen Marie(PHILADELPHIA) -- An infant battling brain cancer, who famously was kissed by Pope Francis during the pontiff's historic visit to the U.S. this year, is responding to treatment, according to her parents.

Gianna Masciantonio, 1, was diagnosed with a rare form of brain tumor called systemic juvenile xanthogranuloma (JXG) months after being born, her parents said. Doctors spotted the inoperable tumor on her brain stem and told her parents she would likely not survive for more than a few weeks.

"Her life was a miracle," Gianna's father, Joe Masicantonio, told ABC News. "They told us to go home and spend days to weeks," with her.

Gianna had been in hospice care since shortly after she was born, and when the infant developed cysts, an 11-hour operation to drain the cysts led to the rare diagnosis of JXG. Though the tumor itself is benign, the location on the brain stem is potentially deadly because it can affect Gianna's ability to breathe and for her heart to beat, according to her mother Kristen Masciantonio.

Since the surgery, Gianna has been on multiple chemotherapy treatments to try and shrink the tumor, said her parents, who are devout Catholic.

The Masciantonio family celebrated when Gianna was kissed by Pope Francis during a parade in Philadelphia. Joe Masciantonio said the visit helped cement how important their faith was to them throughout this ordeal.

While Joe Masciantonio said Gianna's tumor shrunk after her papal visit, he said he did not want to call it "a miracle" and that he also wanted to draw attention to her doctors at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Texas Children's Hospital.

Kristen Masciantonio said the last courses of treatment occurred just before she got to meet Pope Francis. She said they were nervous about bringing her to the crowd but decided at the last minute to risk it.

"Pope Francis kissing her was my miracle, was the way of God telling me he was with us," Kristen Masciantonio said.

Joe Masciantonio said Gianna will continue to undergo chemotherapy and the tumor remains inoperable due to its placement on her brain stem. He said for now the family is enjoying all the time they have with her.

"She’s the toughest baby I’ve ever seen in my life," he told ABC News. "She’s our inspiration. She’s really the best little girl."

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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