In many households today, Thanksgiving meal preparation can be considered a marathon of the cooking variety. Those who have served an entire holiday meal know that cooking the main dish and all the sides require non-stop use of all stovetop burners and ovens. So how does one deal with a stomach growling in the midst of all this delicious activity?

This year, use some of my favorite tips to stay fueled all day and avoid stuffing yourself like the turkey when finally sitting down to eat.

Southeast Dairy Association - Yogurt
  • Stay energized during the long day by powering up before getting started. Start the day with Greek yogurt topped with fruit and granola. Yogurt offers energy-sustaining protein that can get you through hours of basting, stuffing making and table setting. 
  • One of the best ways to prevent overeating once the meal is served is to enjoy small snacks throughout the day. Enlist family or friends to pull together a quick plate of assorted cheeses, whole grain crackers, meats, nuts and olives. Noshing on these protein-packed snacks makes for a relaxing visit with guests without taking too much time away from the kitchen.
  • Lastly, don’t forget to stay hydrated to avoid an energy slump. Enjoy a glass of milk, creamy latte or hot chocolate for a delicious hydrating boost. In fact, new research shows that milk hydrates better than water.

The holidays are a busy time. Enjoy the connection with others through nourishing foods that promote health and maintain energy throughout the season!

Carole Havrila RD, CSO is a board-certified specialist in oncology nutrition, working at the UVA Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center in Charlottesville, Virginia. Carole has worked with a variety of oncology patients for over 23 years and is passionate about helping patients navigate their journey better by being better nourished and empowered by good food.