3 Healthy and Delicious Thanksgiving Recipes for Seniors

Posted on: November 2nd, 2022 by hhmin

grandmother with grandchildren around the table for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and food! But as we age, we must be mindful of our health and eating habits and remember that seniors have different nutritional needs. As we age, our digestive system becomes less efficient at breaking down and absorbing nutrients. We also tend to lose muscle mass and bone density, which can lead to problems like frailty and osteoporosis. For these reasons, seniors need to eat a nutrient-rich diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

While it’s okay to indulge occasionally, especially during the holidays, seniors should be careful not to overdo it. Many people let their healthy eating habits slide in favor of indulgent foods and holiday gatherings. However, too much fat, sugar, and sodium can worsen health problems and lead to weight gain. If you’re planning on celebrating Thanksgiving with a traditional feast, try balancing the heavier dishes with lighter options.

We’ve compiled a list of three healthy and delicious Thanksgiving recipes that are perfect for seniors. Whether you’re cooking for your immediate family or hosting a large feast for loved ones, these recipes are sure to be a hit!

Healthy Thanksgiving Appetizer: Cranberry Sauce

Enjoy this healthy cranberry sauce as an appetizer or side dish.


– 1 cup whole fresh or frozen cranberries

– ½ cup orange juice

– ¼ cup honey

– 1 teaspoon grated orange zest


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  5. Serve at room temperature or chilled.


Healthy Thanksgiving Side Dish: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries and Pecans

This healthy and delicious side dish is perfect for your Thanksgiving feast.


– 1½ pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

– 3 tablespoons olive oil

– ½ teaspoon salt

– ¼ teaspoon black pepper

– 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries

– ½ cup chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Toss Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
  3. Spread on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
  4. Remove from oven and stir in cranberries and pecans.
  5. Roast for an additional 5 to 10 minutes until Brussels sprouts are tender and cranberries are heated through.
  6. Serve warm.


Healthy Thanksgiving Dessert: Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without dessert. Instead of a traditional pie, try this Pumpkin Spice Cake.

Cake Ingredients:

– 1 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree

– ¾ cup almond milk

– ¼ cup olive oil

– 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

– 2 cups whole wheat flour

– 1 teaspoon baking powder

– 1 teaspoon baking soda

– ½ teaspoon salt

– 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

– ½ teaspoon ground ginger

– ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Frosting ingredients:

– 6 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, softened

– ½ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

– ¼ cup honey

– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour in a 9-inch baking pan.
  2. Whisk together pumpkin puree, almond milk, oil, and vinegar in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in another bowl.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 28 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Let the cake cool completely before frosting.
  7. To make the frosting, beat cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in yogurt, honey, and vanilla extract until combined.
  8. Spread frosting on top of the cooled cake.
  9. Enjoy this healthy and delicious pumpkin spice cake for dessert this Thanksgiving!


Enjoy Healthy, Seasonal Meals at Holly Hall Christian Retirement Community

Holly Hall is committed to providing our residents with a healthy, well-balanced diet and elevated dining experience. Our professional Executive Chef at Holly Hall works passionately to offer residents delicious, unique dining options. Our menus are inspired by our residents and the seasons. Check out this example of our summer season menu. Contact us today at 713-799-9031 to learn more about the dining features and amenities at Holly Hall or to set up a tour.