Thanksgiving Feasting: See What a Difference a Few Choices Can Make


See what a difference a few choices can make!

The average American consumes 4,800 calories on Thanksgiving! Here’s how to enjoy your feast and save about 2700 calories.

  • Only use jam on toast, no butter
  • Eat whole fruit not juice
  • Use low-fat milk instead of cream
  • Knowing you are going to feast, eat a light breakfast
  • Instead of potato chips eat pretzels and a small amount
  • Instead of regular dip eat low-fat dip
  • Drink smaller portions of caloric beverages like egg nog or champagne
  • Instead of crackers and cheese eat raw veggies and salsa
  • Eat rolls without butter
  • Make low-fat recipes for things like stuffing and gravy
  • Eat steamed veggies without butter
  • Choose acorn squash instead of butter and sugar laden sweet potato casserole
  • Choose pumpkin pie instead of pecan which has more calories
  • Choose fruit instead of pie
  • Drink skim milk instead of 2% or whole
Thanksgiving feasting, breakfast to midnight
Menu I Menu 2 (low-fat)
I cup orange juice 110 12 sections of fresh orange 110
2 slices toast 135 2 slices whole wheat toast 135
1 tbsp butter 100 1 tbsp jam 55
1 tbsp jam 55 1 cup coffee with low-fat milk 15
2 eggs, scrambled in butter 220
1 cup coffee with cream 35
Total 655 315
10 potato chips 105 5 pretzels 120
with creamy dip 120 with low-fat yogurt dip 35
5 crackers with cheese 175 raw vegetables with salsa 40
1 cup egg nog 340 1/2 cup egg nog 170
Total 740 365
8 oz champagne 170 4 oz champagne 85
6 oz turkey, white & dark meat, with skin 345 6 oz turkey, white meat, no skin 230
1/4 cup gravy 30 1/4 cup low-fat gravy 20
1 cup standard stuffing 500 1 cup low-fat stuffing 125
2 candied sweet potatoes 285 1 cup acorn squash 115
1 cup buttered steamed green beans 70 I cup steamed green beans 35
2 rolls, buttered 240 2 rolls 170
1/4 cup canned cranberry sauce 105 1/4 cup low-sugar cranberry sauce 85
1 slice pecan pie, with whipped cream 520 I slice pumpkin pie 175
Total 2,265 1,040
turkey sandwich, with mayo, cranberry sauce, standard stuffing 585 turkey sandwich with low-fat stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy 345
1 slice pecan pie 495 1 slice melon 45
1 cup whole milk 150 1 cup skim milk 85
Total 1,230 475
DAY’S TOTAL % calories from fat 4,890 44% 2,195 11%

Maria’s 4 Ingredient Tuscan Chicken


1 onion

4 boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed

1 can sliced mushrooms, drained

1 or 2 cans Italian style stewed tomatoes

Add 1 small onion to a lightly oiled skillet over medium, sauté until the onion is soft. Add 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into cubes. Cook the chicken till done (165 degrees). Add 1 can drained sliced mushrooms and 1 or 2 cans Italian style stewed tomatoes. Cover and simmer 5-7 minutes.

Make this recipe your own: Next time, add another ingredient such as garlic, diced red peppers, sliced zucchini or sliced olives. Or top with parmesan. Or serve on brown rice. There are lots of ways of changing up this recipe.


Maria Faires’s Quick and Healthy Bananas Foster


This cooks quickly so have all your ingredients ready and guests sitting at the table.

  • 1 tablespoons salted butter
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 ripe bananas, sliced 1/3-inch thick
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups low-fat vanilla ice cream

Scoop ½ cup vanilla ice cream in each of 4 small bowls that will have enough room for the bananas to be served on top. Place back in the freezer.

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat until it just begins to bubble. Add the sugar and stir, add the bananas in a single layer, sprinkle with cinnamon and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until beginning to brown. Stir with a rubber spatula and brown them slightly on the reverse side.

Serves 4.