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Lighten Up Your Thanksgiving Menu

I am serving Thanksgiving dinner, and several people in my family are trying to cut down on calories. Do you have any tips?
Lighten Up Your Thanksgiving Menu

Photo courtesy of Laurie Turk

Here are several ideas that may work for you.

  • Begin with a veggie tray filled with colorful pepper slices, grape tomatoes, carrot sticks, etc. You might want to arrange them to look like a turkey. Serve with a reduced-calorie dip if desired.
  • Use lower-calorie ingredients such as “light sour cream” or “light cream cheese” when making dips, mashed potatoes or salads. Compare the Nutrition Facts labels.
  • Instead of green bean casserole, stir-fry green beans in olive oil with some sliced pecans and a dash of cayenne pepper.
  • Go easy on the brown sugar and butter added to sweet potatoes.
  • Remove the skin from the roasted turkey before serving and/or eating. Turkey skin is high in fat and calories.
  • Serve ice water with the meal. If desired, flavor the water with some orange, lemon or lime slices.
  • Serve pumpkin pie instead of higher-calorie apple pie or pecan pie.
  • Use smaller serving spoons. People tend to serve themselves larger portions when larger utensils are used.

Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist

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