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Thankful Tips for Your Thanksgiving Holiday

Posted on November 16, 2017

Fall dinner

Brought to you by Barbara’s in collaboration with Andrea Donsky

Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful for many things including family, friends, pets, and good food. Although spending time with those we love is precious, preparing for this special day can be stressful – whether you’re doing the entertaining or traveling to be entertained.

In order to make your holiday as enjoyable as possible, I’ve prepared some healthful, helpful, and delicious tips that will make the big day as fun and stress-free as possible.

  • Ask about dietary restrictions: Even if you think you know your guests’ preferences, it never hurts to ask. Those with food allergies or sensitivities will appreciate the gesture and will be thankful they have something safe to eat.
  • Go green: Choose a green vegetable that is easy to prepare. One of my favorite go-to recipes for a large crowd is steamed green beans with mineral-rich sea salt and organic coconut oil, topped with toasted pine nuts.
  • Make it orange: Serve sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes, as they contain beta-carotene, iron, magnesium and vitamin B6. Extremely versatile, they can be baked, pureed, grilled, or roasted with other root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, and beets.
  • Label your items: Gluten-free? Vegetarian? Vegan? Fat-free? Sodium-free? Once you know the dietary needs of your guests, you can place a card in front of food items that should be identified. Feeling really energetic? Put the recipe alongside each dish. Your guests will thank you for it!
  • Be leftover friendly (environmentally-friendly that is!): Ask guests to bring a container for leftovers with them and/or save your containers leading up to the holiday instead of throwing them away. This will help the planet and help you distribute leftovers more efficiently.
  • Consider a potluck: You can choose to make several main items and ask guests to bring a favorite side dish or dessert to pitch in. This is another great way for anyone with specific dietary needs to ensure they have something to eat. It is also a great way to taste other people’s cooking, and involve your guests in the festivities.
  • Dress-it-up: Have several plain side dishes of potatoes, vegetables or salads and offer various seasonings, gravies, or other garnishes so that people can dress them to suit their own tastes.
  • Prepare one crowd-pleasing entrée: This should be an item that can meet virtually everyone’s tastes and criteria. Some great examples are vegetable soup (with vegetable stock), a meatless chili, fresh green salad, and/or quinoa salad.
  • Warm it up: For dessert, swap a traditional pumpkin pie for Pumpkin Puffin Bars. Warm them up, cut them into small pieces, and serve with vanilla ice cream.
  • Keep nutritious snacks handy: It is always a good idea to have some sweet and salty treats for your guests to nibble on. Make a snack mix using Barbara’s Snackimals, Puffins, and Cheese Puffs. Throw in some popcorn, unsalted pretzels, and 70% dark organic chocolate chips. This low fat, low sugar, high fiber and antioxidant-rich snack is something we can all be thankful for.

Have a happy, healthy and delicious Thanksgiving!

Posted in Nutritionist Newsletters