What’s Thanksgiving without a plate piled high with buttery mashed potatoes, creamy casseroles, and fatty turkey skin smothered with gravy?
Turns out, it’s pretty darn good.
You can have a delicious, festive Thanksgiving without all the harmful fat, salt, sugar, and calories.
One way to do it is to change up your menu. Start with a vegetable soup instead of chips and dip or crackers and cheese. Offer up lots of different roasted vegetable dishes, like carrots with cumin, Brussel sprouts with garlic, and green beans with lemon and red pepper flakes. Serve the white meat from the turkey instead of the dark meat.
Another way is to swap out unhealthy ingredients for healthy ones in your recipes. Make your mashed potatoes with Greek yogurt instead of butter and cream. Sweet potato casserole can be topped with crushed nuts instead of marshmallows. Add sweet fruit, like apples, oranges, bananas, or pineapple to cranberry sauce instead of sugar. Make stuffing with brown rice instead of bread.
If you still want the classic Thanksgiving dishes, you can stay healthy by using the right portion sizes. Fill up your plate with lots of white turkey meat and vegetables. Grab small golf-ball size helpings of the less healthy sides, like mashed potatoes, mac ‘n cheese, and green bean casserole. Skip foods that you eat throughout the year, like bread and chips, so you can have more of the special Thanksgiving foods. When you’re slicing into your favorite pie, cut pieces to be about the size of a regular light bulb.
Knowing where to go for free or low-cost food is helpful, whether you’re putting together a Thanksgiving feast or just feeding your family on a Tuesday.
CHPW has partnered with Aunt Bertha to put together an easy-to-use directory of community resources. Type in your zip code and find local groups that can help you with food, clothing, utility bills, job training, legal help, and more. Check it out here.