Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving!

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

Thanksgiving favorite How to make it healthier


Baked or roasted turkey breast


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

Sweet potatoes are on sale for 77 cents per pound this week.  Sweet potatoes are delicious when baked or mashed! 

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


Homemade whole grain stuffing

Washington Honeycrisp apples are also on sale for $1.68/lb and make a great addition to stuffing/dressing! 

Cranberry Jelly

Choose 'whole berry cranberry sauce' instead of the jellied option recipe below

Ocean Spray® cranberries are on sale for 2 for $5 this week!

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! Get the best start on your Thanksgiving menu by shopping at Family Fare.  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! 

"This medical and/or nutritional information is not intended to be a substitute for individual advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition."

Stephanie Edson Wellness Specialist SpartanNash

Stephanie Edson Regional Wellness Specialist
Stephanie is an award-winning registered dietitian who believes in empowering every individual to make nutritious food choices to support a healthy lifestyle. She believes in the power of food as medicine and loves sharing about nutrition with others.