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How to Build a Balanced Thanksgiving Plate

fall thanksgiving dinner plate with fork and knife

If you’re like us, you’re probably looking forward to certain traditional indulgences this Thanksgiving. After all, that’s what the holidays are about!

While it’s perfectly okay to fill up on favorite feast-worthy foods, we wanted to share a few tips to help you prioritize your plate real estate and practice moderation — in moderation of course.

How to Build a Balanced Thanksgiving Plate:

  1. Downsize your dinner plate. One simple trick to keeping portion sizes in check is to downsize that 10 – 12 inch dinner plate to a more modest-sized salad plate. You can always double back for seconds, but if you feel satisfied after one pass, this should leave you with enough room for a favorite dessert.
  2. Fill half of your plate with greens and veggies. Load up on sautéed green beans, roasted Brussels sprouts, or a green salad.
  3. Load a quarter of your plate with turkey. Having a hard time deciding between white and dark meat? They’re not all that different nutritionally. Just keep in mind, a true portion of turkey is about the size of a deck of cards.
  4. Top off the last quarter of your plate with your favorite starches, like roasted yams, mashed potatoes or that too-good-to-resist stuffing.

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When you’ve finished eating what’s on your plate, give your meal time to sink in before you decide to go for seconds. Have a glass of water and enjoy the conversation! If you decide you’ve got room for another round, go only for the foods you really want, and repeat steps 2 to 4 to keep portion sizes in check.

For more on how to successfully navigate the holidays keeping your good health intact, check out our Top 8 Tips for Holiday Parties.

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