(NAPSI)—When it comes to fighting childhood obesity, a new poll from ORC International finds that 76 percent of mothers don’t know when their child is overweight and are not taking simple steps to improve their children’s weight status.

This wakeup call charged Shape Up America! and the National Turkey Federation (NTF) to launch the Meal Upgrade Calculator, a web-based tool that shows parents how to make simple changes—or “upgrades”—so families can reap the benefits of taking in fewer calories. For meals served at home, the calculator allows consumers to choose possible “upgrades,” starting by changing the meat to turkey, which is low in fat and calories and is an excellent protein source. Outside the home, the calculator shows parents how to improve school and restaurant meals and increase children’s physical activity.

By taking advantage of these “upgrades,” Shape Up America! estimates an average savings of 100 calories a day through improvements to family meals and another 100 calories through increased physical activity—or 200 fewer calories a day.

“When it comes to healthier eating and moving more, small changes add up,” said Barbara J. Moore, Ph.D., Shape Up America! president and CEO. “The Meal Upgrade Calculator shows parents how to make simple ‘upgrades’ in children’s meals and activities that will instill healthy habits that will last a lifetime.”

The Meal Upgrade Calculator is available on the websites of Shape Up America! and the National Turkey Federation at www.ShapeUp.org and www.EatTurkey.com.

El Macho Turkey Dogs Recipe


• Turkey hot dogs

• Hot dog buns (toasted)

Toppings (as desired):

• Sweet onions (chopped)

• Sweet pickle relish or dill pickle chips (drained)

• Salsa

• Jalapeño peppers (seeded and minced)

Cook turkey hot dogs on the grill until heated through. Or simmer hot dogs in water to cover for 5 minutes. Drain. Place on buns and top with any of the desired toppings.

Recipe and photo by the National Turkey Federation.