Thanksgiving with Food Issues

Oh Thanksgiving! A time of family, gratitude, and food! Ok, if you have ever cooked Thanksgiving you know it’s really more along the lines of family drama, little gratitude to you as the cook, and lots of food, with lots of dietary restrictions (or maybe that’s just my family.) This year, we are having a vegetarian/kosher/low sodium/low lactose/low fat Thanksgiving, and it is at MY house.

Thanksgiving Turkey

Photo credit: tuchodi / Foter / CC BY

My family has always been a little crazy on the food front. Since before I was born, my dad has been a vegetarian. So, the vegetarian Thanksgiving is not new. I too do not eat most kinds of meat because I have a very hard time digesting them. So, any side dishes at our Thanksgiving have always been meat free, from the gravy to the stuffing. This one is not as difficult as it sounds.

However, as we start to include what my sister and her family will eat, we get 100 times more complicated! My sister is very seriously Jewish. So, she keeps Kosher (and let’s be honest, tries to insist on any meal with family to be so as well because we should be understanding of her and supportive of her choices.) So, we are having a Kosher turkey this year. It has to be butchered the proper way, and in our little town, that is almost impossible to find, so my mom is bringing one with her pre-thawed on Thanksgiving morning.

Now, even though we got a Kosher turkey, my sister and her family now have the choice of meat or dairy. So, we need two different kinds of pie. The good news is that the pumpkin pie now has fewer takers and more can be mine! They, like my dad will not eat marshmallows due to the gelatin, so my mom is making two different choices of yams. As she put it, I will not be deprived due to their dietary pickiness.

However, my mom is not in the clear on dietary things. She is currently having an issue with blood pressure so she needs to be on a low sodium diet. So, no commercially distributed broth or any other canned items high in sodium. We have to be careful about how we prep the Turkey.

In addition, my mother, uncle, and grandmother have varying degrees of lactose intolerance. Once again, we must have two pies because some people cannot eat the dairy in the pumpkin pie. Luckily, everyone who has an issue with lactose eats meat so they can fill up on the Turkey.

To add to the stress of making a meal plan, many family members have issues with high cholesterol. So, we try to keep meals as low fat as possible. It’s just better for all of us that way.

So, as I struggled to put together a meal plan for this whole ordeal. My father-in-law who decided not to attend with my family (wonder why considering all of the yummy food we are clearly going to have), sent me this wonderful little video:

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!!! Keep the stress levels down and remember, it will be all over tomorrow.



About Danielle Beranek

Life can get away from you when being young, married, and still fairly fresh out of college. Taking on a pet, student loans, going back to school, and soon a new house is enough to leave ones head spinning. For me, life is crazy, but only on the outside.
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