Anytime we’re told to alter our diets, for medical reasons or otherwise, we’re quick to think “yuck” and assume that meal time is going to become a bit of a pain in the you-know-what. And with the holidays fast approaching, you may be worrying about what that will do to your family gatherings. Thankfully, increasing the amount of iron-rich foods in your diet doesn’t mean having to forego all of your holiday favourites or subjecting your guests to a less-than-appetizing feast.
I am from a big family and this year it’s my turn to host our big Thanksgiving dinner. I thought I’d share a peek at what I’ll be serving while still managing to incorporate foods rich in iron into a fairly traditional (and yummy) Thanksgiving dinner – I’ve even included links to some yummy recipes!
This year, I’ll be serving:
- An afternoon nibbler consisting of dried pumpkin seeds (serving size 60 mL, 5.2 mg of iron) and a veggie platter with broccoli (serving size 125 mL, 0.3 mg of iron), cauliflower (serving size 125 mL, 0.2 mg of iron), sweet peppers (serving size ½ pepper, 0.3 mg of iron), and baby carrots (serving size 8, 0.7 mg of iron) with hummus (serving size 60 mL, 1.4 mg of iron);
- Fresh spinach salad (serving size 250 mL, 0.9 mg of iron) with mandarin orange slices (serving size 1, 0.1 mg of iron) and tarragon vinaigrette dressing;
- Slow roast turkey, white meat (serving size 75 g, 1.0 mg of iron) and dark meat (serving size 75 g, 1.7 mg or iron), with chestnut stuffing;
- Sweet potato mash (serving size ½ medium sweet potato, 0.4 mg of iron);
- Mixed fall vegetables including corn (125 mL serving size, 0.5 mg of iron), zucchini (serving size 125 mL, 0.3 mg of iron), squash (serving size 125 mL, 1.0 mg of iron), and Brussel sprouts (serving size 4 sprouts, 0.7 mg of iron);
- Cranberry sauce (serving size 60 mL, 0.2 mg of iron) – I prefer homemade cranberry sauce!
And finally, no Thanksgiving dinner would be complete without a homemade pumpkin pie! Even this delicious dessert contains approximately 1.2 mg per slice (serving size 133 g). Just remember that adding whipped cream will take that down to zero since calcium-rich foods can interfere with iron absorption!
Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!
Serving sizes and iron content mentioned in this article derived from Health Canada’s database, the Canadian Nutrient File.
Content and advice provided on The Iron Maiden is for information purposes only and should not serve as a substitute for a licensed health care provider, who is knowledgeable about an individual’s unique health care needs