Celebrating “Thanks-Keto-Giving”

Today’s guest blog post is by ketogenic dietitian and Nutricia Keto Ambassador Vanessa Aldaz, MPH, RD, CDE. Vanessa provides her tips and recipes ideas for families celebrating Thanksgiving on the ketogenic diet.


The holiday season is around the corner. Thanksgiving may have a different meaning for each household and how we choose to celebrate it may vary from home to home. However, I believe

thanksgiving 2that one thing most people can agree on is that it is centered around coming together with family, loved ones and friends. Here are some ideas for your keto family to consider when celebrating “Thanks-keto-giving” this year (aka: thanksgiving with a keto twist).

Keto-friendly Recipes:

The following are a few good recipe ideas for you to try. Don’t get overwhelmed with the options or feel that you need to make them all. Two sides and 1 dessert can easily make your keto-child or keto- friends feel included and very “keto-thankful”.

Main Dishes

Choose from an array of protein choices: These main dishes are perfect as most of them are carbohydrate-free.

  • Roasted turkey (not stuffed)- Instead of traditional stuffing, you can stuff with herbs and citrus rinds to give your turkey flavor and holiday flair
  • A “Turducken” (duck stuffed with a chicken stuffed inside a turkey)
  • Roasted whole ham leg or a spiraled ham (without the brown sugar glaze)
  • Non-traditional main dishes such as salmon, lobster or filet mignon

Side Dishes

  • Instead of mashed potatoes, try mashed cauliflower drizzled with good quality butter or try KetoCal® Mashed Fauxtatoes (4:1 recipe, 3:1 recipe)
  • Try the KetoCal Cauliflower and Cheese recipe- sooo good! (4:1 recipe, 3:1 recipe, MAD recipe)
  • Green salads- use group A and B vegetables if you are on the Classic Ketogenic diet. Read the food label of your favorite creamy dressing and add heavy cream, mayonnaise, or oil to make it your ratio. Check your specific diet ratio and amounts with your ketogenic dietitian
    • My favorite: kale and baby spinach, cucumbers and sunflower seeds, topped with blue cheese dressing with extra heavy cream and mayonnaise.
  • KetoCal’s Thanksgiving Stuffing (4:1 recipe, 3:1 recipe)
  • KetoCal’s Green Bean Casserole Recipe (4:1 recipe, 3:1 recipe)
  • Charlie Foundation’s Chicken or turkey keto gravy (3:1 recipe)
  • Charlie Foundation’s Squash Curry Soup (if you are not a fan of curry try adding pumpkin spice instead)
  • Charlie Foundation’s High Fiber Bread Roll (4.16:1 recipe) (you can also use these high fiber rolls as a base for stuffing)

Desserts:

Family Activities

Another way to make “Thanksketogiving” a success is to try not to completely focus the day around the food. Get up and go do other fun and exciting activities to add to your memories. Depending on where you live there are many holiday activities you can participate in.

Go to the movies!

Thanksgiving weekend is a popular time for opening day of some big movies of the year. There are a variety of movies, animated and not, that feature heroes, superheroes, and other beloved characters of the season. There is something for everyone!

Take a walk!

Weather permitting, it’s nice to get outside as a family. Take a walk around the neighborhood or out to the zoo.  If you live in warmer climates, play touch football, soccer or baseball in your backyard or a nearby park.

Play games!

Get your friends and family together and play charades! Have everyone write random words, famous people, phrases or themes on pieces of paper and put them all in a jar. Make your own rules and have fun as all ages can play this game. Or, if you don’t like charades, family board games are always fun.  If relatives are coming, have them bring some of their favorites so you can all play together!

Play & sing!

If your family likes to sing or play music, consider bringing music sheets or a karaoke machine! You can always use pots, pans and plastic containers that aren’t used for the meal to make musical instruments and form your own band.

Get crafty!

Set out festive craft supplies for your little ones to create placemats, napkin rings, wreaths and centerpieces to use as your Thanksgiving Day table decorations. You can find some Thanksgiving-themed craft ideas here.

And finally, don’t forget to share with each other why you are grateful to be together or what you are thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

-Vanessa

I was paid by Nutricia for my time to write this blog, however, my opinions are my own. 

KetoCal is a medical food and is intended for use under medical supervision. 

The ketogenic diet for epilepsy should be used under medical supervision. 

KetoCal is a trademark of SHS International LTD.

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