Give Thanks and Be Healthy

The following post is written by Amber McGuerty and Paula Meeks at Woman’s Food and Nutrition Services

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, remember to be thankful for your health and continue to practice good nutrition habits. Whether you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner or bringing a dish to share, you can modify your recipes to have less fat, sugar and calories without sacrificing taste and quality.

A few tips include:

  • Use fat-free chicken broth to baste the turkey and make gravy.
  • Use sugar substitutes in place of sugar and/or fruit purees instead of oil in baked goods.
  • Reduce oil and butter whenever you can.
  • Try plain yogurt or fat-free sour cream in creamy dips, mashed potatoes and casseroles.

You should also pay attention to portion sizes when preparing your plate. Smaller portions of each food item will allow you to sample each one of your favorite dishes without overloading on calories. Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables and cut a smaller piece of pie for dessert. Sometimes it can be hard to judge portion sizes without a measuring tool. Here are some visuals to help with portion control:

  • 3 oz of turkey=the size of a deck of cards
  • ¼ cup of gravy or ¼ cup of cranberry sauce=about the size of a golf ball
  • ½ cup of stuffing or ½ cup of sweet potato=about the size of ½ a baseball
  • 2 tablespoons of salad dressing = about the size of a full shot glass

Don’t forget that Thanksgiving is not only about the amazing food. It is a time to celebrate relationships with your family and friends and to be thankful to have them in your life. Happy Thanksgiving and eat well!

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