Thanksgiving is a wonderful way to spend time with friends and family, but it's often an unhealthy occasion. Alexa Schmidt, a registered dietitian at Binghamton University, State University of New York, has tips to help prevent overeating and make it a healtheir holiday.  

  • Enjoy everything the day has to offer by starting with a light breakfast (eggs with spinach and whole grain toast or plain Greek yogurt with nuts and berries) so you aren’t starving by the time the turkey is ready! If your gathering isn’t until later in the day, it is important to include a snack or midday meal too.
  • Once it’s time for “Thanksgiving Dinner,” create a balanced meal by choosing to cover 1/2 your plate with non-starchy vegetables (e.g. carrots, green beans), 1/4 plate with skinless turkey, and 1/4 plate with your favorite side dishes (e.g., sweet potatoes, stuffing).
  • Fill your glass with water or enjoy a small serving of your beverage of choice.
  • Post-meal, offer to help with cleanup and play music to encourage more movement before dessert. You may enjoy a walk or friendly game of football too.
  • Once it’s time for sweets, take a look at your options. Choose one or enjoy a bite of a few different items.
  • Remember, it takes your brain 20 minutes to recognize you are satisfied, so eat slow, put your fork down between bites and enjoy the conversation around the table. 

Looking for some healthy alternatives for your favorite Thanksgiving dishes?

  • Choose white turkey meat without skin in place of dark meat with skin.
  • Enjoy fresh green beans with slivered almonds in place of green bean casserole.
  • Decrease the amount of butter in the mashed potatoes and mix with skim milk.
  • Swap 1/2 cup oil for 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce in your favorite cake recipe, or try baked apples with cinnamon in place of apple pie.