WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Many of us will be spending Thanksgiving eating a meal that adds up to nearly 4000 calories. 22News is working for you with information on making sure your family stays healthy on Thanksgiving Day.
Many western Massachusetts residents like Linda Melaney of West Springfield will be spending Thanksgiving with family and friends.
She said her family will cook "Turkey, the normal fixings like potatoes, vegetables. We enjoy family, and all the cooking, everybody brings something, so it's really nice."
From preparing the turkey to getting the casseroles and pies in and out of the oven, there's a lot to do before the Thanksgiving meal. But that time spent in the kitchen can be dangerous.
Cooking fires and hot-oil burns hurt thousands of people each year.
When you're grilling, frying or baking, stay in the kitchen. Maintain a "3-foot-kids-free" zone around hot appliances. Check the food often, and keep a fire extinguisher nearby.
Experts say preparing a safe Thanksgiving meal also includes paying attention to what you eat.
Many people told 22News they will be watching how much and how fast they consume their meals.
Adam Coleman from Raleigh, North Carolina told 22News his family is spending the week in western Massachusetts with extended family members.
He said "We have three kids, and we want them to have healthy choices, too. When you establish health eating and when you try to teach your kids, you teach them year round. But we do let them splurge a little for dessert."
An uncooked turkey can lead to food poisoning, so doctors say always double check and triple check that your turkey is fully cooked. They also say watching your sodium intake during the Thanksgiving meal is just as important.
Dr. Thomas Goldberger at Doctors Express in Springfield told 22News "There are some people who when they consume salt tend to retain a lot of water, which often ends up in their lungs, and they can't breathe. They ate the turkey. They ate the canned vegetables."
On the menu and tempting but with hidden calories and sodium are dip, eggnog and sweet potato. And when it comes to pies, pumpkin is a healthier choice than apple.