Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that we take to enjoy large amounts of foods we don’t normally eat, and it can sometimes derail our healthy eating plans with all the additional fats and sweets that we don’t normally consume. Having a little bit here and there isn’t bad, but if you’re looking for healthy Thanksgiving dinner alternatives, you’ve come to the right place.
Turkey in itself is a lean white meat, so it is a good protein to have at the dinner table. However, not all of the sides that are included as part of the traditional meal are so great for you, which is why we have some suggestions for healthy substitutions that still fit the theme of the meal.
- Instead of mashed potatoes, settle for simple baked potatoes for each person. You won’t have to worry about the additional butter and whole milk added in to help create the mashed potatoes, and instead can enjoy a healthy potato loaded up with good for you foods like tomatoes or broccoli.
- Say goodbye to the yams. Yams are essentially a dessert disguised as a side. In general, sweet potatoes are really good for you, but not when they come in the form of yams with all the added sugars. Instead, try slicing them and roasting them with honey and cinnamon topping. You’ll still get the sweetness, but in a much healthier way.
- Roasted vegetables. Slice up a variety of fall vegetables like squash, carrots, and brussel sprouts, and roast them in a pan with some of your favorite seasonings. It’s a delicious side, minus the topped onions you’ll find on a green bean casserole.
- Skip the apple pie and instead go with apples filled with an apple crisp. It’s a delicious way to still get that apple pie taste you’ve been craving all year, but in a miniature form, and without the crust, and guilt.
- Get rid of the chips snack beforehand and stick with veggie trays. Everyone knows snacking during the parade and football games is a huge part of Thanksgiving, but make sure your snacking is healthy. By munching on fresh-cut vegetables and fruits, you are lowering the calories and the amount of trans fats.
It’s not difficult to find healthy Thanksgiving dinner alternatives, and even just a few small tweaks can make a huge difference for the big day when it comes to staying on track with your healthy eating goals.