Healthy Holiday Meal Fit for a Child!

Holiday meals, like Thanksgiving, can be filled with delicious and healthy food that your kids will actually eat. My kids are famous for passing up all the main dishes, and piling their plates with potato chips and cookies when we are at family parties. But, we’ve found some foods that the kids like and over the last few years have become more adventurous about choosing healthier foods.

First, I believe there are three principles to preparing a healthy holiday meal!

  1. Focus on fruits and vegetables
  2. Fresh is always best
  3. Watch portion sizes

Keeping these basic principles in mind can guide you as you prepare dishes that everyone will enjoy.

I’ve been asked to share our Thanksgiving menu for Blog Talk Radio tomorrow morning! Details about the show are at, and it’s at 12ET. I hope you’ll tune in Friday morning while I share these meals!

thanksgiving dinner

Appetizers: (tomorrow’s post)

  • Veggie tray with dips
  • Nut tray

Main Course:

    • Turkey
    • Pamela’s Gluten free corn bread
    • Mashed sweet potatoes
    • Fresh green beans with nuts and dried cranberries
    • wild rice stuffing
    • Spinach salad
    • cranberry sauce
turkey2 pamelas gluten free corn bread


Shelton’s Free range turkey! This turkey turned out amazing!  Truly the best one I’ve made to date.  The key to a perfect turkey for me is using a timed thermometer. There is truly no other way to have your turkey perfectly moist and not overcooked.  No amount of brining, marinating, soaking, etc. has ever worked as well as using a meat thermometer with a timer.   For seasoning, I used sage, thyme, and slathered with a little mayo to keep the juices in. Bonus: The Sheltons turkeys were also tested and approved by Kid Kritics!

Corn Bread

Pamela’s gluten free corn bread mix.  I’ve never met a gluten free product I liked until this one.  My husband..biggest critic of all,, thought it was amazing!  We used the corn bread mix and the recipe on the package.

This corn bread was also given the seal of approval by official kid kritics (as well as my own kid critics!)

mashed sweet potatoes
Sweet Mashed potatoes

  • 1 potato per person (unless they are big than 1 potato per two people.
  • Peel and chop sweet potato
  • Place in boiling water for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  • Drain water from potatoes
  • Using an electric mixer, beat potatoes until fluffy.
  • Add 1 tablespoon honey, beat again
  • Add 1 teaspoon salt, beat again
Fresh Green Beans (so much better than canned!)
1-3 lbs fresh green beans (with tips trimmed off)
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to tasteBoil green beans in water for 5-7 minutes. Drain water. Add remaining ingredients and stir till combined.
wild rice stuffing spinach salad
Wild Rice Stuffing 

  • 2 cups cooked wild rice
  • 1/4 cup celery
  • 1/4 cup onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Cook celery and onion in olive oil.  Add cooked wild rice to pan.  Saute until thoroughly combined.
Season with salt and pepper

Spinach Salad
I’ve posted this spinach salad before, and it is still our favorite salad!  Recipe here.

cranberry sauce
Healthy Cranberry Sauce
(adapted from WH Foods)

  • 1 cup Orange Juice
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 12 ounce bag of fresh cranberries

Place OJ, ginger, and cinnamon in a sauce pan. Turn on medium heat until it reaches a boil.  Then add the package of cranberries.  Stir over heat for 10 minutes.

  • 1/2 cup honey

Stir until well combined.


  • Pumpkin

Pin It

Come back tomorrow to check out our appetizers and dessert!

Don’t forget to listen to the radio program Friday morning,, Noon eastern time.  A big thanks to Kid Kritics for hooking us up with the Turkey and cornbread!

What is on your menu??


Thank you, thank you, thank you! I was actually kind of dreading the Thanksgiving holiday because I always overdo it on the sweets and junk. This gives us some healthy dishes to offer that look so yummy and won’t bust my waist line! :)


I love this! I am pinning it for next week when I’ll plan our Thanksgiving! Thank you so much! I have been working hard at incorporating more veggies and less junky carbs into our family meals. This is perfect!


I agree! This all looks great and colorful! I think people get SO focused on “tradition” that they don’t allow themselves to truly see how amazing AND healthy Thanksgiving meals can actually be :) and with lighter meals like this, a family walk or game of football outside would be PERFECT for an after-meal activity!


Anyone who missed hearing Amy’s cheery voice and encouraging words, “this isn’t hard to do and my kids love it,” go to iTunes, then Podcast, then Better Food Choices, or, look for this podcast on her site. Amy also includes some fun tips in our conversation. Once you listen, you know she’s your friend!… for the health of your family.


Looking forward to the Thanksgiving menu. This year I think me and my wife will just follow it to the T. Menu are always the hard part for us.


Thank you SOOO much! I blogged in July about how everyone should start getting ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas now by experimenting with healthier recipes. I started a pin board to supplement and this went on it for sure!


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