Thanksgiving officially kicks off the holiday season and you know what that means – spending lots of extra time with loved ones and eating plenty of delicious, but maybe not-so-healthy foods. Yes, this is the time of year when diets are tested by high calorie holiday foods. But it doesn’t have to be! There are plenty of healthy food choices for Thanksgiving that will leave your stomach full and your tastebuds thankful.
Healthy Thanksgiving Foods
Without a doubt, the star of every Thanksgiving meal, we had to start with it to calm your fears. Yes, turkey-lovers, you don’t have to feel guilty about grabbing a few extra slices this holiday season. Turkey is rich with protein and also provides zinc, potassium, and iron.
White meat is leaner than dark meat, containing only 153 calories and 1 gram of fat per 4 oz. portion without the skin, compared to dark meat, which clocks in 176 calories and 3.6 grams of fat. So, if you can, stick with white meat, but don’t feel too bad about grabbing a few slices of dark meat as well.
Made with the right ingredients, mashed potatoes can be a perfectly healthy side you can enjoy with your turkey. By substituting nonfat milk for whole milk and cauliflower for half of the potatoes, you’re looking at only 137 calories and 1 gram of fat per cup. Compare that to 237 calories and 9 grams of fat if you used whole milk and only potatoes. Using this little trick you can justify a bigger slice of pie for yourself when it’s time for dessert!
No matter what your opinion is on this green vegetable packed with vitamin C, fiber, and glucosinolates , there’s no denying that brussel sprouts are one of the healthiest sides you can have on your table this Thanksgiving – with only 136 calories and 7 grams of fat per ½ cup. For the pickier eaters at the kids table, you can top them with a little bacon or cheese to make them more tempting.
We’re not talking about the cranberry sauce that comes out of a can, which has 6 teaspoons of sugar in just a ¼ cup serving! No, we’re talking about fresh, homemade cranberry sauce. Cranberries are rich in vitamin C and flavonoids, so cranberry sauce made with fresh cranberries can be a healthy addition to your plate.
One of the healthiest Thanksgiving foods, butternut squash is a fantastic source of vitamin A, B, C, and E, as well as zinc, calcium, and magnesium. Because it’s so flavorful already, there’s no need to use a very buttery or sugary recipe to prepare it, and its sweet and creamy flesh has a decadent, silky, dessert-like texture.
Thanksgiving just isn’t complete without dessert. Maybe skip the pecan pie this year, because just a 1/8th slice of a 9” pecan pie can contain as much as 500 calories! Instead, stick with pumpkin pie. It might be the healthiest Thanksgiving dessert, with plenty of fiber and beta carotene and a fairly low sugar count if prepared properly.
Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes
No-Sugar-Added Cranberry Sauce
You can avoid the temptation to crack open the canned cranberry sauce with this healthy and delicious cranberry sauce recipe that cuts down on the calories by sweetening with dates and apple cider instead of sugar. After tasting this, your guests will never want to open a can of cranberry sauce again.
Glazed Turkey Breast With Fruit Stuffing
This turkey breast recipe is sure to delight all of your guests with its unique twist on stuffing – that way you can avoid the unnecessary calories and fat that traditional stuffing contains. It adds a little sweetness to a normally savory dish, really making the flavors pop. The smell of the herbs combined with the fruit will leave your guests craving this mouth-watering meal.
Alternatively, if you’re a little time-crunched this Thanksgiving or are hosting a smaller number of people, Snap Kitchen can help you out with our Herb-Roasted Turkey with Potato-Turnip Mash and Gravy meal that’s as healthy as it is delicious!
Holiday Green Bean Casserole
Normally we’d tell you to stay away from casserole, because it’s traditionally one of the unhealthier foods you could include in your Thanksgiving spread. But, not this green bean casserole. Using a homemade white sauce instead of the traditional cream of mushroom soup significantly reduces the sodium content, while maintaining the rich flavor of the original. So don’t be afraid to dig into this one!
Pumpkin Alfredo with Sage Turkey Sausage
If you invited Snap Kitchen to Thanksgiving this year, we’d bring along one of our favorite sides to share – our pumpkin alfredo with sage turkey sausage. This pumpkin-perfect dish is a unique fall twist on a classic Italian meal that is sure to satisfy everyone at the table this holiday. Of course, you could always add it to your next Snap Kitchen box and we’ll have it delivered right to your door!
There are plenty of delicious and healthy Thanksgiving foods you can enjoy this fall without having to loosen your belt or your expectations! Snap Kitchen can fill your table with our wide selection of delicious meals – made with only high-quality, clean ingredients.
Whether you’re serving an entire family gathering or a more intimate dinner, Snap Kitchen has plenty of options to help you keep eating healthy during the holidays.
Which of our meals will you include in your Thanksgiving feast? Explore our menu today!