Thanksgiving -The Meal
Technically speaking, a holiday is only one day and on Thanksgiving, it’s really just the one meal. Granted, there are leftovers, but we usually don’t dive in with as much gusto in the days following the holiday.
We’re always asked, “How bad can it be to just enjoy yourself at one meal?” We hate to burst your bubble, but one really high calorie, high fat meal does put you at greater risk for a heart attack or stroke.
When you think about it, Thanksgiving dinner is a carb-lovers delight – potatoes, dressing, corn, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce, and pie! One easy, calorie-saving idea is to eliminate a dinner roll or two and the mashed potatoes and opt for more green vegetables instead. Or chose a single crust pie over a double and perhaps skip the a la mode and whipped cream.
Having small amounts of your favorite dishes on Thanksgiving probably won’t cause a problem. Just to give you an idea of recommended serving sizes for a typical Thanksgiving meal, check out the nutritional analysis in this month’s FYI – it’s amazingly high. For some suggestions to lower the fat and calories, see this month’s Calorie Conscious.
As you can see, the recommended serving size for the side dishes on our menu is 1/2 cup. That is a little less than a tennis ball! So that “small amount” referred to should be about 1/4 cup which is closer to a ping pong ball.
For Your Information
These are the foods most of us eat for Thanksgiving but probably not in the portions we should consume (we do tend to super-size at this meal).
Even with these recommended serving sizes, the calories add up to a whopping 1861 (95% of your recommended daily calorie intake) and the fat grams to 74.5 (about 41% of the calories from fat). Check out this month’s “Calorie Conscious” for a less caloric version.
Sample Thanksgiving Menu:
- 4 ounces dark meat
(214 calories/8 g fat)
- 1/2 cup gravy
(46 calories/2 g fat)
- 1/2 cup mashed potatoes
(111 calories/4 g fat)
- 1/2 cup dressing
(195 calories/8.5 g fat)
- 1/2 cup cranberry sauce
(208 calories/0 fat)
- 1/2 cup green bean casserole
(161 calories/11 g fat)
- 1/2 cup corn pudding
(193 calories/12 g fat)
- 1 dinner roll
(85 calories/2 g fat)
- 1/8th of 9-inch apple pie
(411 calories/19 g fat)
- 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream
(133 calories/7 g fat)
- 2 tablespoons whipped cream
(104 calories/11 g fat)
This is the lower fat version of corn pudding mentioned in “Calorie Conscious”.
It is delicious.
- ¾ cup fat-free egg substitute
- 1½ cups skimmed evaporated milk
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 can (15 ounces) cream-style corn
- ¼ cup bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 1-1/2-quart casserole with vegetable oil spray. In mixing bowl, beat egg substitute until light and fluffy. Add milk, sugar and salt. Stir in corn, bread crumbs, and melted butter. Pour into prepared casserole and place in baking pan. Pour boiling water around casserole to one inch. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until custard is set.
Yield: 6-8 servings
Nutrients per serving:
- Calories 132
- Sodium 558 mg
- Fat 2 g (14%)
- Carbohydrate 22 g
- Cholesterol 2 mg
- Protein 8 g
It’s called “stuffing” if it’s in the bird and “dressing” when it’s cooked outside of the bird.
There are many reasons why it’s better to make “dressing”:
it’s safer – less chance of food poisoning
the bird cooks more quickly
it’s healthier – less turkey fat
it’s easier to get every spoonful of your delicious dressing
With this version the calories add up to 1084 (about half of your daily intake of calories) and the fat grams are 31 (26% of calories from fat). If you cut the quantity of potatoes, dressing, cranberry sauce and corn pudding in half, you’ll eliminate another 326 calories. It will still be a 758 calorie meal, about 1/3 of your daily calories and more than enough to fill you up!
- 3 ounces sliced white meat of turkey (108 calories / 3 g fat)
- 1/3 cup gravy (35 calories / 1.5 g fat)
- 1/2 cup mashed potatoes (111 calorie / 4 g fat)
- 1/2 cup dressing (195 calories / 8.5 g fat)
- 1/2 cup cranberry sauce (208 calories / 0 fat)
- 1/2 cup steamed broccoli (22 calories / 0 g fat)
- 1/2 cup corn pudding (132 calories / 2 g fat – this is our low-fat version)
- 1/10th of 9-inch pumpkin pie (253 calories / 11 g fat)
- 2 tablespoons Cool Whip Lite (20 calories / 1 g fat)