Make your Thanksgiving Healthy

alegendre's picture
Posted by alegendre on 2012-10-5 8:32

As a health-conscious cook and passionate eater, I've always loved Thanksgiving. It is a holiday that is centered around family, friends and food. The turkey, the stuffing, the cranberry sauce, all the seasonal veggies on the side, and an endless selection of desserts are what makes this holiday so  delicious. Simply prepared, these traditional foods can even be good for you.

Originally, the seasonal foods that were used to prepare the Thanksgiving meal would all provide important nutrients: turkey is a lean meat and an excellent source of protein, sweet potatoes are filled with fiber, vitamin A and potassium, collard and mustard greens are full of vitamin A and C, fresh cranberries contain vitamin C and fiber, and pumpkins overflow with beta-carotene, fiber, and iron. But somewhere along the way, the nutritional benefits of these foods have been over shadowed by added butter, salt, and sugar, making the Thanksgiving meal a meal that can add up to the equivalent of two days’ worth of meals.

The solution? Develop a healthy Thanksgiving mind-set for the event. This means creating a realistic menu; lightening up some of your family’s favourites (without giving up the flavour).

Don’t forget the old saying that “less is more.” It couldn’t be more true when it comes to a Thanksgiving meal. Cut down on the fat, the sugar and the salt. The only thing that can stay in abundance is the flavour.

Here is a menu for your Thanksgiving meal that will be sure to keep your family and friends taste buds happy, without needing to switch into your stretchy pants before the meal:

Appetizer:

Main:

OR

Dessert:

And why not take this opportunity to enjoy the crisp fall weather and go for a walk after your meal to enjoy some of the changing colours or challenge your family to a game of tag football (that is how we do it in my family)?

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