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  • Writer's pictureLindsey Fausnaugh

Healthy Tips for a Grateful Thanksgiving

Updated: Feb 7

Thanksgiving place setting

This Thanksgiving, as you think about all you’re grateful for, please keep your health in mind. Good health allows you to do the things in life that are most important to you and makes it possible to do things for others. The better you care for your health, the more you’ll have to be grateful for.

When you think about Thanksgiving does healthy seem impossible? Just follow my healthy tips to help you stay grateful this Thanksgiving holiday:

Don't skip other meals. Skipping meals before your holiday gathering makes you more likely to overindulge. Keep your usual meal times and food choices leading up to the holiday meal.

Consider modifying recipes with healthy ingredient substitutions.

  • Reduce unhealthy fat content by using milk or Greek yogurt in place of heavy cream.

  • Use low-sodium broth to reduce the amount of cheese and butter in your recipe by half.

  • Choose whole-grain bread, grains, pasta, and rice in stuffing and casserole recipes.

  • Consider having roasted fall vegetables as a side dish instead of a casserole.

Be wise about your portion sizes

  • Use a small 9-inch diameter plate. Larger plates encourage you to overeat.

  • Choose a palm-size meat portion.

  • Aim to fill half your plate with green vegetables.

  • 1/2 cup or an ice cream scoop is the standard serving size for mashed potatoes, casseroles, noodles, corn, sweet potatoes, and other starches.

  • Be mindful of the amount of butter you add to your dinner roll. A standard serving of butter is 1 teaspoon which is about the size of a dice.

  • For dessert, stick with a small serving about the size of a standard light bulb.

Practice mindfulness

  • Try the 3 bite rule. Studies show that we enjoy the first 3 bites of food the most. Try taking 3 bites of each food on your plate. Then pause and think about how hungry, satisfied, or full your stomach feels. Take a few sips of water. Decide which food on your plate you liked the most. Ask yourself if you want to finish everything on your plate.

  • Think twice about second helpings. Stop and ask yourself if you are still hungry or if are you eating for other reasons. If you are still hungry give yourself about 15 minutes to let your food digest. This can save you from feeling bloated and miserable later.

Make plans to be active. It helps you burn more calories and helps with digestion too!

  • Take a walk

  • Participate in a Thanksgiving 5K

  • Make exercise plans with friends

  • Go hiking

Get the support and encouragement you need to improve and protect your health. If you are interested in individual support on healthy eating, contact Dietitian Lindsey at 614-989-5058 or email

Happy Thanksgiving!

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