Healthy Options for Thanksgiving Meals

Photo by



Thanksgiving isn’t a holiday known for healthy foods, what with its thick gravy made from turkey drippings, buttery stuffing, carbohydrate-loaded potatoes…even yams and carrots tend to be “candied” or otherwise adorned with items that essentially override the health benefits.

It doesn’t have to be this way! Why not adopt one (or all!) of the following tips for making your Thanksgiving meal healthier?

Go Free Range

Besides just tasting better, organic free range turkeys aren’t given hormones nor prophylactic antibiotics, aren’t in contact with their own waste while confined in close quarters, and generally eat higher quality feed. All adds up to healthier meal for you and your family.

Photo by Flickr Adactio

Time for a Roast!

Not of your favorite celebrity or Uncle Melvin over dinner, but of your veggies for the meal. Boiling and (even steaming) leaches valuable nutrients, grilling isn’t always an option due to weather, and sauteing often adds a lot of unnecessary fats. Roasting is a wonderful alternative and is extremely simple: roughly chop the veggies, spritz them with lightly with some olive oil for browning, and roast at 400 or so until tender. Throw in some fresh herbs like rosemary for added YUM!

Pass the Salt

Salt is everywhere; recipes often call for a teaspoon here, a dash there. Then it’s sitting on the table and, all too often, people mindlessly add more to their meal without even tasting first. Try halving the amount a recipe calls for; you’ll be surprised to find you often don’t even notice the difference. If I’m worried about it, I’ll add a little more garlic or a zingy spice to cover the deficit.

[sc:adsense ]

Spice it Up, Pumpkin-Style

Tend to indulge in a delish latte from your favorite coffee shop while doing meal preps on turkey day? Save calories (and dollars!) that would have gone towards a high-fat, high-sugar pumpkin spice lattes by making some of your own Pumpkin Spice and dusting it over your own coffee mixed with skim milk.

Photo by Flickr Adactio

Go Green

Salad tends to be ignored on Thanksgiving…often it doesn’t even make an appearance on the dining table. Reverse that trend this year and prepare a salad for your guests that they can’t refuse. Deep rich greens topped with crushed walnuts, fresh cranbberries, sliced oranges, and a simple vinaigrette speaks to the colors of the season thus adding a healthy option.

What do you think?