Simple Swaps for Thanksgiving

There’s nothing like the foods of Thanksgiving – traditional favorites like stuffing, pumpkin pie, turkey, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes are something we look forward to.  Hy-Vee Dietitian, Jen Haugen, shares simple tips to lighten up your family’s favorite Thanksgiving foods – without losing any flavor.

Simple Swaps

  • Start with crunchy vegetable appetizers with low-fat dip made with nonfat plain Greek yogurt.
  • Use a 9-inch plate for your meal.
  • Baste turkey with chicken broth.
  • Cook turkey with skin, but remove before eating.
  • Use non-fat milk or chicken broth to mash potatoes.  Skip adding butter during mashing but instead, add it to the top of the mound of potatoes.
  • Bake sweet potatoes with apples and cranberries.
  • Add lots of fruits and vegetables to your stuffing.
  • Use non-fat evaporated milk in place of cream when making pumpkin pie.

Jen’s Harvest Stuffing


All you need:

1 (6 ounce package) stuffing mix for turkey

2 tablespoons light butter (50% less fat)

¾ cup water

¾ cup apple juice

½ cup diced celery

½ cup dried cranberries

1 apple, diced 

¼ cup chopped walnuts


All you do:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Combine all ingredients in microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave uncovered on high for 3 minutes.  Stir well and cook additional 3 minutes.  
  • Spoon into a greased 9x9-inch baking dish.  Bake uncovered for 15 minutes.

Jen Haugen represents Hy-Vee as a nutrition expert promoting healthy eating throughout the community.  Jen is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.