How to Make Your Thanksgiving a Healthy One
By Brandi Swieter
Once the holiday season arrives, many people start thinking about the many dishes they get to enjoy come Thanksgiving. Turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, and sweet potato casserole are just a few of the classic offerings present at many family feasts. While they are delicious, most are rather unhealthy, containing a high amount of calories and fat. Families can make their Thanksgiving a healthy one by substituting ingredients and skipping the dessert for a lesser calorie meal.
Substitute Certain Ingredients
The best way to keep traditional food items for Thanksgiving while still making the meal healthy is by making a few substitutions with every dish. For green bean casserole, for example, the mushroom soup often used can get substituted with low-fat milk, flour, and mushrooms. It ensures a lower fat content and smaller amount of sodium. When making stuffing, use whole grain bread instead of white for lower calories, or green tea instead of chicken broth.
Skip the Dessert
Some families may still want to include pie on the menu, but that doesn’t mean everyone has to eat it. It is best to skip the dessert and let the meal provide the main source of nutrition for the evening. Just one piece of pie and a bit of cool whip can have a tremendous amount of calories, so passing it up will help those trying to diet. If a person still wants to try a piece, cutting a small portion is best.
Alcoholic drinks and punch are two of the most commonly offered beverages at holiday get-togethers. With too many calories in each, it is best to avoid these drinks and opt for water instead. Those who drink water before their meal will get fuller fast, ensuring they do not consume as many calories as they otherwise might.
Head Outdoors for Family-Friendly Activities
The day doesn’t have to be spent simply standing around the kitchen eating food or plopped on the couch watching the game. On Thanksgiving with the whole family together, choose some family-friendly activities that everyone can enjoy outdoors together. Play a game of touch football or set up some horseshoes; either way it will get people active so they’re burning off some of the calories they’ve consumed throughout the day.
Nutrition is important any time of year, although many people tend to forget about it when holidays such as Thanksgiving arrive. People tend to far overeat and end up feeling sick later that evening or the next day. Rather than gorging on Thanksgiving foods, it is better to create a healthier Thanksgiving feast to enjoy without the guilt.
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