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Healthy Tips For Thanksgiving

Healthy Tips For Thanksgiving

During Thanksgiving, it is easy to overdo it with all of the delicious food around.

If you use these simple healthy tips for Thanksgiving Day, you don't need to resist all that stuffing, mashed potatoes and pies that you love.

  • Eat breakfast –eat a small breakfast so that you won't be starving when you sit down to eat your Thanksgiving meal
  • Substitute unhealthy ingredients with healthy ones:
    • Use fat-free chicken broth for gravy
    • Use plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream for potatoes
    • Add more sides of vegetables
    • Substitute canned cranberry sauce with a homemade cranberry sauce
    • Replace white bread with whole grain bread
    • Replace oil and butter in desserts with applesauce
    • Switch out sugar with non-sugar sweeteners
    • Swap dark meat for white meat to cut calories
  • Have portion control – fill up your plate with half veggies, a quarter starch and a quarter turkey
  • Skip the skin – one ounce of skin can contain 80 calories and 2 grams of fat
  • Drink lots of water – drinking water throughout the day can decrease your risk to overeat
  • Plan a walk – to help burn some calories, take a walk before or after your meal with your family and friends

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and be thankful. It is a time to enjoy your company and celebrate the relationships with your family and friends.

Below, check out two healthy recipes for Thanksgiving from The Teaching Kitchen Chef, Tracey Burg:

Apple-Cranberry Sauce

This turkey side dish uses a fraction of the sugar that classic cranberry sauces use and tastes great served warm or cold. Makes about 3 cups


  • 6 apples (Macintosh or Granny Smith), peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger (optional)


  1. Place all ingredients in a medium sauce pot on medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and put on the lid. Simmer until apples become soft and cranberries burst, about 15 minutes.
  2. Remove the pot from the heat. Using a potato masher, mash the apple mixture until no lumps are seen or puree in a food processor.

Recipe note: May substitute the fresh cranberries with ½ cup canned cranberry sauce – it's still less sugar and lots of flavor!

Nutritional Information per ¼ cup serving

  • Calories: 55m
  • Carbohydrates: 14g
  • Total Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 0g
  • Saturated Fat: 0g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2g
  • Sodium: 4mg
  • Protein: 0g


Yield: One 9" square cake, 16 servings
This recipe uses whole wheat flour in place of white flour and applesauce for half of the fat. It's so yummy and moist no one will notice!


  • 2 ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon each ground cloves and nutmeg
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • ½ cup molasses
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9" square pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
  3. Add the oil, applesauce, molasses, and water, mixing to moisten.
  4. Whisk together the egg and buttermilk. Stir into the batter until it's evenly combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the cake just begins to pull away from the edge of the pan.
  6. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for 15 minutes before slicing; gingerbread is best served with powdered sugar or Greek vanilla yogurt.

Nutrition Information (Serving Size: 1 piece)

  • 160 Calories
  • Total Fat: 5g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 30mg
  • Sodium: 180mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 26g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1g
  • Sugars: 12g
  • Protein: 3g