The American Heart Association celebrates "Eat Smart Month"

November is 'Eat Smart Month' and is celebrated by the American Heart Association.

Avera Registered Dietitian Lauren Cornay shares healthy eating tips on KSFY Morning News. On November 21 she discussed some Thanksgiving dinner swaps. Here is what she had to say about eating healthy during the biggest meal of the year.

1. Enjoy in moderation.

Grandma’s fudge is a family tradition, and your coworker’s cookies are calling you from the breakroom. Indulging a little won’t hurt — so lighten up! No, we mean that literally. Enjoy holiday treats in smaller portions, make healthy substitutions where you can, and plan ahead for merry meals that are healthy, too.

2. Include lots of seasonal, colorful fruits and vegetables.

Do you decorate for the holidays with a lot of color? Treat your plate the same way. Fruits and vegetables will add flavor, color and nutrients to holiday favorites. And they help you feel fuller longer so you can avoid the temptation to overeat.

3. Slash unwanted calories with easy swaps and substitutions.

Learn where excess calories, sodium, saturated fat and added sugars are hiding in traditional holiday foods and beverages, and some easy swaps to avoid them. Our guide will show you how.
Navigate holiday parties like a boss.

From the obligatory workplace parties to family get-togethers, your calendar may be bursting with opportunities to eat and drink outside of your regular routine. Make a plan that will help you resist plowing through the buffet table, like having a healthy snack beforehand.

4. Sprinkle in opportunities to be active.

Keep the inevitable indulgences in check by staying active. Enjoy some winter sports for a change of pace, or schedule in a quick walk or workout before you head to the next party.

Earlier in the month, Cornay shared that healthy habits start at home. When you prepare and cook meals at home:

1) You're in control of what you and your family are eating
2) You can get inventive and inspired with your culinary creations
3) You save money

You don't have to be an experienced cook to prepare healthy meals at
home. Here are some tips to get you started.

+ Get inspired by healthy cookbooks, cooking shows and blogs, and try
new recipes that will "wow" your family.

+ Choose healthier meats and proteins, like fish, chicken, and beans.
If you eat red meat, choose lean and extra-lean cuts and trim off
as much fat as you can before cooking.

+ Add color to your meals with fruits and vegetables. Sneak 'em in if you have to. And they all count!

Fresh, frozen, canned and dried are all good choices, just watch out for excess salt and added sugars.

+ Make healthy substitutions when you can. Take baby steps over time to replace less-healthy ingredients in your family favorites.

+ Break up with sneaky salt and learn new ways to give food great flavor, including herbs, spices and other seasonings.

+ Upgrade your fats. Use healthy vegetable oils instead of butter, lard and tropical oils.

+ Stock up. For hassle-free healthy meals in a hurry, be prepared with a well-stocked kitchen. This means always having some basic ingredients in your cabinets, pantry, fridge and freezer. It can save time and worry on those busy days when you don't have a chance to get to the grocery store.

+ Learn new cooking methods and techniques. Brush up your skills with videos online or take a cooking class with friends. Instead of frying, learn how to infuse flavor into foods cooked in healthier ways, like baking, grilling, roasting and steaming.

When meal prepping at home, there are some good tips for what you should pack.

Bin 1: Whole Grains/Proteins/Dairy
Prepared Sandwiches
Crackers/Meats/Cheese

Bin 2: Veggies
Bagged Baby Carrots
Bagged Cucumbers

Bin 3: Fruits
Apples
Clementines

Bin 4: Snacks
Smoothie Pouches
Yogurt
Fruit
String Cheese
Crackers/Nut Butters

Check out the attached link for recipe ideas.