The Healthy Side of Thanksgiving

Insider's Viewpoint: Natalie Menza, Wakefern Food Corp.

Traditionally, Thanksgiving has always been viewed as the holiday where you indulge, but when it comes to fruits and vegetables, more matters – so this is your opportunity to indulge "sensibly."
This year, include dishes filled with delicious fruits and vegetables to your feast and since all forms count (fresh, frozen, canned, and dried), it’s easy to do and won’t break your budget.

The fall season brings an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables such as apples, pears, winter squash, and sweet potatoes which can serve as healthy side dishes as well as fruit-based desserts. But since frozen, canned and dried fruits and veggies are just as nutritious as fresh, the possibilities are endless.

Here are some ideas to get you started:
  • Start off the meal with butternut squash or vegetable soup.
  • Serve a mixed green salad with dried cranberries, mandarin oranges, or chopped apples.
  • Add some pizzazz to your rice or other grain based side dish by tossing in chopped mango, pineapple, green peppers and onions to give it a Tropical flavor.
  • Baked sweet potatoes are a quick and easy side dish. Split them and add your topping of choice. Try honey and a little cinnamon, vanilla yogurt, or warm applesauce and chopped nuts.
  • For dessert, top an angel food cake with a fruit puree made from frozen fruit such as strawberries or serve poached pears in white grape juice and top with fat-free chocolate syrup and a dollop of reduced-fat whipped dessert topping.

Follow these simple tips, come up with some of your own ideas, or search this site’s planning/shopping ideas or great recipes. Either way, adding fruits and vegetables to your Thanksgiving feast is both a delicious and nutritious idea.
Natalie Menza
Corporate Dietitian
Wakefern Food, Corporation


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