family eating thanksgiving dinner together

Healthy Tips For The Family During This Holiday Season

Thanksgiving is a very festive holiday that so many of us enjoy. Typically we get to spend in-person time with our family in a loving, fun, and happy setting. However, this year, it may be a virtual event for those outside of the immediate family circle. We also appreciate this holiday for the many delicious foods that we get to prepare and eat. A lot of these foods are prepared only on this occasion; as such, we tend to splurge. But there is no need for us to get so stuffed, especially if we have underlying conditions or are watching our weight. Here are some healthy habits that we all can practice during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Monitor Your Portions

Try to have a moderate amount of each food available; do not overload your plate.

Have Breakfast

Eating a balanced meal before Thanksgiving dinner will ensure that you are not starving by dinner time and prevents you from overeating.

Skip Out On Seconds

The food is delicious, and you want to have more, but why not opt to take some home to have the next day instead of eating a second serving right then and there?

Interact With Loved Ones

The wonderful thing about Thanksgiving is that it is not just about food. So instead of focusing on the meals, turn your attention to the amazing persons within your family. It is an ideal time to catch up with your kids that you probably don’t get to spend enough time with, especially those parents who travel a lot for work. Or simply sit and observe the persons you love knowing they love you too.


If you had a bit more than you should have during the holidays, then working out is a great way to burn those extra pounds and calories off.

Prepare With Care

The persons preparing the meals should keep in mind the loved ones within their household with conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. So ensure you are not using a lot of salt or sugar. Here is a healthy cranberry sauce recipe that you can incorporate into dinner this holiday.


Healthy Cranberry Sauce

Turkey and cranberries are a match made in heaven. This homemade low sugar sauce is basically jam.


  • Cranberries: 12 oz fresh or frozen cranberries. Buy and freeze cranberries when in season. Then cook the sauce with frozen berries any time of the year. No thawing.
  • Sweetener: Maple syrup, honey, agave, or even erythritol for low carb version will work.
  • Orange juice: From a carton or freshly squeezed, orange juice adds a nice flavor to tart cranberries, always.

Directions to Make Cranberry Sauce

  1. Prep: Rinse, drain, and discard any squishy berries. Add them to a small pot along with maple syrup and orange juice.
  2. Cook: Bring to a boil covered, and cook on low-medium heat for 6 minutes. Remove the lid, stir and cook for 3 more minutes or until cranberry sauce has thickened. No need to add cornstarch or gelatin as cranberries and honey will thicken on their own.
  3. Stir: No need to blend as when you stir, cranberries will fall apart. If you like a very smooth sauce, mash with a masher or blend with a blender.
  4. Serve hot or cold with turkey and mashed potatoes.

5-Ingredient Pumpkin Protein Pancakes


  • Spray or butter so your pancakes don’t stick to your griddle
  • 8 egg whites – or 4 whole eggs (farm-fresh eggs are the best for this recipe)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups vanilla protein powder
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder


  1. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients for pancakes together until just combined.
  2. Heat butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add a small spoonful of pancake mixture to test, making sure skillet is hot enough to add pancake batter. Once bottom of tester pancake starts to form, flip and then remove from heat.
  3. Add pancake batter by large ladle scoop, cooking four pancakes at a time and flipping once a bottom starts to form, about 5 minutes.

Source: Amanda Viau Hopkins, Food Service Director ACE, CEC, Avera McKennan Hospital & University Center


Medical West. (2020). 9 Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving. Retrieved 10/23/2020, from

Osipov, O. (2020). Healthy Cranberry Sauce. Retrieved 10/23/2020, from