Healthy Thanksgiving Eats

Thanksgiving is easily one of my favorite times of the year. I love heading home, seeing old friends and family, relaxing, and of course eating holiday food!

To me holidays are about spending time with family and enjoying food in a healthy way.  Follow these simple tips for a delicious and fulfilling Thanksgiving dinner. 

Eat Normally Throughout the Day

Some may think that skipping meals earlier in the day is strategic, but this will only set you up for overeating! Eat a balanced breakfast and lunch so that you eat a normal sized dinner.


If you know you’ll eat a little extra on Thanksgiving, exercise! This will set a good tone to your day, and allow a little wiggle room at dinner. Try going for a walk or run before or after your meal.

Make Half Your Plate Veggies

This is a good rule for any time of year, but especially on Thanksgiving! Instead of piling on the meat and stuffing, make half of your plate healthy veggies, a quarter starch and a quarter lean turkey.

Be Aware of Portion Sizes

Many times holiday weight gain isn’t  from the types of foods we eat, but the amount. Watch your portion sizes and you’ll be able to taste a little bit of everything. Use smaller dishes to serve food, try to avoid seconds, and split your desserts! Everything in moderation.

Stay Hydrated

To reduce calorie intake and the risk of overeating drink water in between other beverages that you may be consuming.

Enjoy Yourself

If you overeat, it’s ok! Remember that it’s only one day and you can start eating healthy again after the holiday is over 🙂


Quick Cooking Tips

  • Use whole grain ingredients
  • Reduce the amount of butter and oils
  • Use low-fat or fat-free yogurt, sour cream, and milk for recipes. It will cook and taste the same!
  • Choose white over dark meat for a lower fat choice
  • Use egg substitutes in your recipes
  • Use fat-free or reduced sodium chicken broth for gravies
  • Use sugar substitutes or fruit purees when preparing dessert

Find Healthy Recipes!

Below are some of my favorite healthy recipe websites, all featuring healthified versions of your favorite Thanksgiving foods! Base your dishes on in-season fruits and vegetables for color, flavor and health.

Eat Better America

fANNEtastic Foods

The Front Burner Blog

Mayo Clinic

Better Recipes

This year I’ll be making  Apple Cinnamon Cranberry Quinoa from one of my favorites, the Front Burner. And I may swap an ingredient or two in some other recipes while no one’s looking 😉

Make this Thanksgiving one to remember with deliciously healthy food shared with family and friends. For healthy holiday eating try simple tricks like altering recipes, being aware of portion sizes and filling your plate with veggies. Have It Your Weigh


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