Thanksgiving comfort foods can bring people to the table, but they also tend to bring calories along with them.
Cumberland County UT-TSU Family-Consumer Science Agent Kelli Roberson said dishes like special casseroles are where people should focus on moderation and remember they can always take leftovers. Roberson said if someone wants to load up their plate, things like white turkey and vegetables are the best.
“There’s probably the special casseroles or certain things that people bring to those holiday celebrations that you really enjoy having,” Roberson said. “A lot of those dishes do tend to have a lot of calories but if you eat those in moderation and just your smaller portions. You can stick with some of those traditional lower calories dishes, like your white turkey is not bad for you.”
Roberson said many people forget the calories that appetizers contain and to be mindful of grazing the snacks before the meal. She said starving yourself before a meal is a bad idea.
“During the day and even the day before you don’t have to eat as much,” Roberson said. “That morning of, it’s a good idea to eat protein and have some fiber, you can have an egg and maybe a piece of whole wheat toast… those things are gonna stay with you longer and make you feel fuller throughout the day.”
Roberson said it’s important to remember people eat with their eyes first. She said the more variety on a plate, the better chance there are healthy options.
“We tend to slide on the other side of that which are your vegetables,” Roberson said. “The main idea behind the color thing is the more variety and more color… we also eat with our eyes so it’s more appealing to us, as well. That’s where that comes in and why it’s so important, but our vegetables tend to be very colorful.”
Roberson said finding opportunities to be active or getting in motion will help with the effects of a big Thanksgiving meal. She said doing small things to be nutritious add up in the long run.