Make Healthy Choices for Thanksgiving Meal
Posted: November 19, 2012
The average Thanksgiving meal can provide over 3000 calories per person – about twice the daily allotment for an adult. We can enjoy good food on Thanksgiving but make healthier choices to avoid consuming too many calories. Below are a few suggestions to help you enjoy your holiday meal while controlling your caloric intake.
If you consume appetizers before dinner, choose low fat options such as shrimp cocktail or fresh vegetables and low fat dip. Avoid the higher fat selections such as cheese and crackers or a creamy dip and chips.
Choose low fat side dishes like steamed carrots or green beans rather than higher fat dishes such as creamed corn and green bean casserole.
Eat one starch – mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes. If you are preparing these foods, consider substituting lower fat ingredients to make these dishes healthier. Use skim milk in your mashed potatoes or fat free sour cream and bake or roast sweet potatoes without loads of brown sugar and butter.
Select white meat over dark, and skip the skin. Turkey meat is a lean protein overall, but choosing the breast without skin makes it even healthier.
Choose dessert wisely. Pumpkin pie has fewer calories than apple or pecan pie. Consider taking a smaller portion or sharing it with someone. If you are preparing desserts, consider offering lower fat options like this delicious guiltless pumpkin pie:
Guiltless Pumpkin Pie
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice or 3/4 teaspoon each ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 15-ounce can of pumpkin
1 5-ounce can fat free evaporated milk
Optional: Low fat whipped topping and ground cinnamon.
Directions: Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease or spray a 9-inch pie plate; set aside.
Place eggs in large bowl, beat with a fork or whisk. Add sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Stir until well mixed. Stir in pumpkin and evaporated milk. Pour into prepared pie plate. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes – or until center is set. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving time. If desired, add a spoonful of low fat whipped topping to each serving and sprinkle with additional ground cinnamon. Serves 8. One slice provides 120 calories, 2.5 g. fat.
Karen Thomas is a family and consumer sciences educator for Penn State Extension of Lackawanna County.