Give your Thanksgiving meal a healthy makeover

Try these healthier Thanksgiving tips.

Thanksgiving dinner is more than just a meal; it’s the center of the holiday and a time to celebrate with family. Thanksgiving dinner can be a stressful occasion for some, and not just because of meddling relatives. If you’re trying to stay on track with your health and wellness goals, Thanksgiving dinner can prove a cornucopia of potential pitfalls and missteps. With simple ingredient swaps, you can enjoy the holiday without derailing your progress.

Turkey Time

The turkey is the iconic centerpiece of any Thanksgiving meal. Don’t deny yourself this holiday favorite. Turkey is a great lean protein option that will keep you full until the last football game ends and grandpa falls asleep on the couch. The key to healthy turkey eating is choosing the right cut of meat, being mindful of the toppings you choose and considering your portion size.
Traditional turkey:Take a slice of dark meat and top with traditional sugary canned cranberry sauce and you will need to spend 30 minutes playing flag football to burn off the turkey alone1!
4 oz dark turkey meat: 262 calories, 10.1g fat, 119mg cholesterol, 40g protein
1 slice of canned cranberry sauce: 86 calories, .1g fat, 21.6g sugar
Healthy Makeover: Choose sliced breast meat and remove the skin. Don’t pile on sugar-packed cranberry sauce or fat-filled gravy. Consider making your own whole berry cranberry sauce and using a sugar substitute.
4 oz white turkey meat: 153 calories, 1g fat, 94mg cholesterol, 34g protein

Stuffing Shockers

Stuffing makes an appearance at most Thanksgiving dinner tables and for good reason – it’s a delicious fall accompaniment to turkey.
Traditional Stuffing: Load up a dry stuffing mix with oil and add extras like meat and you’ll create a nutritionally lacking side dish that you’d need to walk for 60 minutes to burn off!
1 cup stuffing: 354 calories, 17.2g fat (3.4g saturated), 43.4g carbohydrates, 5.8g fiber, 6.4g protein.
Healthy Makeover:Consider swapping out low-nutritional bread for a quinoa-based stuffing that’s packed with protein that will satisfy you. Use our recipe for roasted vegetable cranberry quinoa and you’ll get a healthy side dish full of fall flavor without the fat and calories of more traditional stuffing.
1 cup stuffing: 210 calories, 3.5g fat (0g saturated), 41g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 5g protein.

Dessert Deal Breakers

No Thanksgiving meal is complete without dessert, but a traditional slice of pie can derail any good choices you’ve made throughout the meal. Traditional Pie: One slice of apple pie can pack in 296 calories and more than 13g of fat! If you opt for pumpkin , you’ll save yourself some calories and get a percentage of your daily vitamin A, but still pay the price in terms of fat and sugar. You’ll need to take a 30 minute jog after dinner just to burn off your dessert! 1 slice apple pie: 296 calories, 13.8g of fat (4.7 saturated fat), 57.5g carbohydrates, 19.6g sugar 1 slice pumpkin pie: 229 calories, 10.4g fat (1.9g saturated fat), 29.8g carbohydrates, 15.1g sugar Healthy Makeover: Feed your pie craving without expanding your waistline with apple pie parfaits , a winner from our Recipe Refresh Challenge last year, made with healthier ingredients . Want the ultimate fall dessert? Consider opting for a mini dessert to help control portion size. Mini pumpkin cupcakes are a great way to keep portions in check and still indulge in the taste of fall. 2 cupcakes: 200 calories, 8g fat (1.5g saturated, 0.6g omega-3), 220mg sodium, 28g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 4g protein, 50% vitamin A

Do you have a Vitality HealthyFoodTM Shopping Card?* With Vitality HealthyFoodTM, every healthier food purchase you make at Walmart,**can earn you 10% savings† with your Shopping Card for future purchases.

Don’t have a Vitality HealthyFoodTM Shopping Card? Request it today and start saving when you purchase many of the ingredients needed for these healthier versions of holiday favorites.

To request your Vitality HealthyFoodTM Shopping Card:

  • Sign in at and complete your Health Assessment if you haven’t already
  • Go to the “Get Healthy” tab and select “Vitality HealthyFood.”
  • Accept the “Vitality HealthyFood Terms & Conditions,” and in 7-10 business days, you will receive your card and can use it to start earning 5% savings.

Increase your 5% savings to 10% when you or any HumanaVitality members in your family complete a Vitality Check® in your current program year. Once your results are received and verified by HumanaVitality, you will earn 10% savings when you buy Great For You healthier foods. Savings will be applied to your card within 5-7 business days of the purchase to be used on any future Walmart purchase.

1Exercise claims based on estimates for a 155-pound person performing activity for 30 minutes.Source: Harvard Health Publications.

*The Vitality HealthyFood program is not available to all HumanaVitality members and is only available with certain plans or products offered by Humana. HumanaVitality members must be 18 years of age or older to participate in the Vitality HealthyFood program.

** For a listing of all qualifying Great For You healthier foods, visit the Vitality HealthyFood page on or check The Vitality HealthyFood program is only available at Walmart Neighborhood Markets and Walmart retail stores. Sam’s Club stores and are excluded from the Vitality HealthyFood program.

† The 10% savings is earned once an eligible HumanaVitality family member completes the Health Assessment and a Vitality Check in the current program year. Savings are earned on Great For You items will be applied to that member’s Vitality HealthyFood Shopping Card within 5-7 business days. Once applied, the savings may be used on any future purchase made at Walmart where gift cards are accepted.

You should consult with your doctor before making dietary changes.