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Living Healthy/Healthy Eating

How can I trim some of the "bad" from our "family favorite" meals?

I'm cooking for my in-laws on Thanksgiving and their "family favorites" are not considered healthy choices. How can I trim some of the "bad" from the meal without their knowing I'm trying to make it healthier?

Don't focus on taking things
away from a meal - think about
healthy choices you can add

There are some moderate ways you can trim down the old favorites without anyone feeling they're missing out.

Usually, ingredients like butter or sugar can be cut by 15 to 25 percent without detracting from the flavor. And one whole egg and two egg whites can be used in a recipe calling for three eggs.

Your in-laws may balk at non-fat dairy products but they'll probably be all right with low-fat milk, cheese, and cream cheese.

A bolder approach means scanning old recipes for ingredients that can be switched out for something healthier. Use yogurt instead of sour cream or mayonnaise; evaporated skim milk instead of cream; prune puree for some of the vegetable oil.

If someone feels strongly about a recipe consider leaving it as is. Sometimes serving smaller portions of the "real thing" as a treat will leave your guests satisfied and willing to return to their normal diet after the festivities.

And don't just focus on taking things away from the meal, think about healthy choices you can add. It can be as simple as putting a plate of grapes on the table.

Nancy Rodriguez, R.D., is a registered dietitian at Edward Hospital. Find healthy recipes at edward.org/recipes.


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