10 tips to make Thanksgiving healthy

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Thanksgiving was first observed in 1621 as a three-day harvest feast. It lasted three days and involved 50 Pilgrims and 90 Wampanoag Indians. Only up to five women were there, according to certain historians.

On the first Thanksgiving, turkey was not on the menu. Venison, duck, geese, oysters, lobster, eel, and fish, together with pumpkins and cranberries, were most likely served.

DID YOU KNOW? The average person consumes 3000 calories on Thanksgiving Day. However, once they’ve completed dessert and all of the “extras” that make up the meal, most people wind up with 4500.

Let’s discuss how we can make this Thanksgiving healthy and memorable. Even if your objective isn’t to lose weight, eating so many calories in one day isn’t optimal. A nutritious Thanksgiving meal is a wonderful way to spend time with family and friends.

Here are ten of my favourite healthy Thanksgiving eating tips:

Start with a soup

Start your meal with a “starter course” of a delicious, healthful, homemade soup during the holidays. For Thanksgiving, try a purée pumpkin and squash soup or homemade vegetables and dark meat turkey soup, both of which are savory yet low in calories.

It’s always best to drink your soups first for health reasons, but you can also have sips of it with your food if you wish! Soup served before or after a meal can help to pique your appetite for the next courses, while soup served with the meal can aid digestion.

Don’t be afraid to include a salad

“SERIOUSLY?” you’re probably thinking right now. “At Thanksgiving, who eats salad?” Yes, salad is served at Thanksgiving. Approximately 28% of tables in the United States will serve a green salad, while 9% will serve a Caesar salad. Salad eaters are more than likely to be found on the West Coast and throughout the political landscape.

So, who’s eating a salad? Yes, absolutely! Green salads will outnumber Apple Cinnamon Rolls, cornmeal, pumpkin pie, and Wrapped Cranberry Baked Brie on Thanksgiving tables. Green salads will outnumber stuffing from the inside of the bird on the table.

But, honestly, who eats salad during Thanksgiving? Green salads can be found on 37% of tables in the Pacific region, which includes California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii, and 31% of tables in the Mountain West. Meanwhile, less than one-fifth of southern respondents would serve fresh greens with dressing.

It’s fine to indulge in some of your favourite foods in moderation

But what about corn pudding, my personal favorite? Or how about some good old-fashioned southern macaroni and cheese? Or how about Grandma’s renowned apple pie? how about these delectable mashed potatoes? I’m not going to tell you that they’re out of the question.

To be honest, you basically have to plan ahead for these sweets, because a 120-per cent-treats lunch is way too many calories. Try to limit yourself to 1 to 3 treats for Thanksgiving dinner, and eat them in moderation because the calorie count per serving will be substantially higher than other foods. However, go ahead and enjoy them wholeheartedly.

Consider making your Thanksgiving Day more active and healthy

Not every family wants to – or should – play touch football like some of our favorite TV sitcoms do, or play the board games that families enjoy around the holidays. But how about going for a walk to the neighborhood park and letting the kids play on the swings and slide? Or go for a bike ride after breakfast? A Turkey Trot is also a great idea! At least 30 minutes to an hour of physical activity is recommended.

To reduce fat and bad cholesterol from your turkey, cook it without the skin

Could a traditional Thanksgiving dish be the key to decreasing your cholesterol?

If you’re trying to lower your cholesterol, you already know how crucial it is to check the cholesterol content, as well as saturated and trans fats, in the foods you eat. If you’re trying to cut down on saturated fats, turkey is a great option, but it all depends on how you prepare it.

Naturally, frying a turkey in a high-fat oil will increase the fat level of the meat. The type of oil you fry in determines whether or not it raises the saturated or trans fat level. On the other hand, if you roast the meat and let it rest.


A whole turkey…or a big turkey…isn’t necessary for every family. Even though it’s on sale, that doesn’t mean you have to cook it! People are more prone to overeat if it is on the table. This will be more practical and help minimise the calories for most people if you serve a standard portion of turkey and save a bit in the kitchen in case a couple of your “excellent eaters” (like your teenage males) desire a second helping. Simply Happy Foodie has an Easy Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe that includes instructions for a small to a large turkey, depending on the number of people you’ll be serving.


There are many appealing stuffing recipes available now that use high-calorie ingredients like chestnuts and pork. Instead, for a full, rich flavor, look to the more savory vegetables for a nutritious Thanksgiving. Cook them first before adding them to the stuffing, and then season them with your favorite spices and herbs to amp up the flavor. Because most people enjoy stuffing, it is an item that adds calories to a number of plates at your table; reducing the calories in this dish is a great way to help.

Check out Strength and Sunshine’s wonderful Gluten-Free Vegan Stuffing (shown above). A Simple Apple Sage Stuffing from Lemons and Zest is another fantastic choice.


Some families, we’ve discovered, are just as excessive with dessert as they are with supper. Instead, we propose that you choose something light and perfect for a single dish for everyone. Don’t go overboard with the desserts. By the time it’s ready for dessert, your guests should be quite full. You don’t want this to happen when they have another 1000 calories to add to their meal. If at all feasible, keep dessert served under 300 calories.


Yes, when your family learns you’re making Thanksgiving meals healthier, they’ll undoubtedly scream and complain. Even though no one wants to consume additional calories, we nevertheless enjoy our favorite delicacies. Even on Thanksgiving Day, one in every five American youngsters goes to bed hungry. Find a local project that supports the hungry in your community and contribute some food as a family. Giving canned or boxed food may seem insignificant, yet it makes a significant impact on those in need.


Have faith in your ability to modify and change your Thanksgiving menu. Cutting calories in this large lunch should be a goal for everyone in the family, not just those who are trying to lose weight. No one needs to consume nearly 5,000 calories in one sitting. Food that is good for you can also be tasty. If you can, tweak your regular dishes, or venture out and discover new favorites that your family will adore!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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