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Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday in November, every year. This 2021 holiday is one that will create many “do you remember when?” anecdotes. The goal this year is to be thankful for the good, and mindful of safe/best practices for good health.

That includes following and practicing the recommended protocols from state and local public health departments to keep folks healthy and virus-free. In addition to this focus on practices of washing hands, social distancing and masking up, you also want to make wise food choices to help in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

 

Photo Credit The Undefeated

TrackerIt is fairly easy for the savvy host or hostess to set out a spread of foods that have less sugar, salt and a few fewer carbohydrates and starches. Pre-planning is key to making sure your table includes healthier options of traditional dishes.

These are not flavor-killing changes, just versions that are better for you.  One of the first things on the to-do list is to confirm the number of guests you will have at the table.

That will help you determine the size of the main dish (turkey, roast or ham) that you need. Once you’ve decided on your main dish, you’ll want sides that won’t weigh you down.

RELATED: Thanksgiving Side Dishes that Boost Your Immune System

Side Dishes

Folks do love potatoes—mashed, scalloped or sweet. It is not the potato itself that gets the bad rap; it’s the additions of butter, cheese, milk, sour cream and other goodies.

If making potatoes, opt for low-fat milk or plain Greek-style yogurt in place of cream and sour cream. If sweet potatoes are on the list, cut back on the amount of butter, sugar and marshmallows.

Sweet potatoes are a real power food, but if the sweet potatoes are paired with butter, sugar, and mini-mallows, the power punch is knocked out! Include