Between relatives visiting and the kids taking a break from school, Thanksgiving can be a demanding time of the year, and this often leads to poor health choices. While we don't want to take all of the fun out of the holiday known for its savory eats, there are some healthy alternatives to traditional side dishes.
Mashed Cauliflower1 of 6
Mashed potatoes may be loaded with carbs, but mashed cauliflowers aren't. Cauliflower is a great source of vitamin C, K and folate, has fewer calories than a potato, and is lower on the glycemic index. Just like with potatoes, cauliflower is a blank canvas, so feel free to add in garlic, herbs or some of your other favorite ingredients.
Baked Sweet Potato2 of 6
Sweet potatoes are healthy substitutes for white potatoes, but this doesn't mean a casserole layered with loads of butter and sugary marshmallows is healthy. Instead of a casserole, try baking some sweet potatoes whole. Top them with a dollop of butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon so your kids can get the same flavor they love without the extra fat.
Cauliflower Mac and Cheese3 of 6
If you want to sneak some vegetables into your child's Thanksgiving meal without depriving them of their favorite foods, give this recipe a try. Lighten up the mac and cheese by using low-fat milk, and add cauliflower to give the dish a nutritional boost.
Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls4 of 6
One of the easiest health-conscious substitutions you can make during the holiday season is to swap white dinner rolls, biscuits and baguettes for whole-wheat alternatives. Compared to white options, whole-wheat bread is higher in fiber, vitamin B6 and magnesium.
When searching for alternatives, look for whole grain or whole wheat as the first ingredient. Added dyes are sometimes used in breads, so while you might think you're making the healthier choice, it could be just as unhealthy as the white variety.
Green Bean Fries5 of 6
Just like sweet potatoes, green beans often get casseroled on Thanksgiving. Whether they're drenched in cream of mushroom soup or topped with fried onions, this seemingly healthy dish can actually be loaded with calories.
For a healthier option, try green bean fries. This recipe will give you and your family a crunchy twist to traditional green bean dishes without all the added calories.