Healthier Thanksgiving

Gather around the table with your family and friends for celebrating thanks and enjoying delicious foods! As you prepare all the traditional Thanksgiving dishes, here are a few tips to lighten many of these favorites:

Thanksgiving favorite How to make it healthier
Turkey Baked or roasted turkey breast
Gravy Homemade gravy using canola oil, all-purpose flour, and no salt added chicken/turkey broth seasoned with a dash of salt, garlic, and pepper
Sweet potato casserole with brown sugar and marshmallows Baked or whipped sweet potatoes.
Green Bean Casserole Of course we have to have green bean casserole!  Just be sure to serve another veggie too such as roasted Brussels sprouts
Stuffing/Dressing Homemade whole grain stuffing
Cranberry Jelly Choose 'whole berry cranberry sauce' instead of the jellied option. Check out the recipe below.
Pumpkin Pie Homemade with 1/3 to 1/2 less sugar than the recipe calls for
Table Wine Drink just one or two glasses


Homemade Cranberry Sauce is higher in fiber compared to jellied options and tastes better too! Here is our favorite Cranberry Sauce recipe from Ocean Spray®:

Cranberry Sauce


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 12-ounce package Ocean Spray® Fresh or Frozen Cranberries, rinsed and drained


  1. Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil; add cranberries, return to boil.
  2. Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Cover and cool completely at room temperature.
  4. Refrigerate until serving time.

While preparing healthier recipes is one approach to a more nutritious Thanksgiving dinner, you do not have to skip the traditional recipes or miss out if you purchase prepared food! From the overall nutrition perspective, it is not so much the type of foods served on our Thanksgiving tables as it is the quantity we eat that gives Thanksgiving an unhealthy name. Turkey, potatoes, and pumpkin are nutrient dense foods; however, even eating too much of healthful foods can be unhealthy.  As you sit down for your Thanksgiving dinner, remember appropriate portions and aim to fill half of your plate with fruits and veggies. 

It is also important to keep in mind that it takes 20 minutes for your stomach and brain to communicate and for you to know that you are full.  Start with just a little of each and reach for seconds only after waiting 20 minutes and if still feeling hungry.  

We are thankful for you and want to continue to be your partner in feeding your family well! From prepared foods to quick mixes, and any ingredient your recipe calls for, we have it all to help you make it a great Thanksgiving!