Five Reasons I’m Thankful This Turkey Day: What are you thankful for?

We’ve all faced challenges these past two years, but we are also grateful for many things this holiday season. Here are my five reasons to be thankful. What are yours?

Food. While food prices have risen, the U.S. has one of the most affordable food systems in the world. Americans spend just 6.4% of their household income on food, according to the latest figures compiled by the USDA. Typically, the more developed a country is, the smaller the percentage of household income it spends on food. High-income countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom have higher food spending in absolute terms, but the share of household consumption expenditures devoted to at-home food is low—less than 10%. In Kenya and other low-income countries, at-home food’s share of consumption expenditures can exceed 50%.

If you have sufficient money to buy food for your family, consider spreading the wealth by donating your time, money, or food to a local food pantry or support organizations that feed people with a monthly contribution. While there are too many great organizations to name, Feeding America and No Kid Hungry are two to consider supporting.

Great nieces Willow & Amelia
With nephew Jack

Family. We associate the holidays with gatherings of loved ones. This year I’m thankful to get to enjoy visiting with a dozen of my nieces and nephews. This year brought us our 42nd great nephew (yes, we have 42 nieces, nephews, and greats) and getting to see about 29% of the gang in one weekend is a win!

Friends. Covid kept us isolated from our friends, so I am thankful that we are starting to see more our friends for fun times. Holiday parties are on the calendar and vaccines have allowed us to start to enjoy each other’s company in the community and in our homes.

Longtime friends Liz & Kathleen at Rose Gardens in Portland, OR

Fun. Fun for me is associated with travel and I’m thankful I got to travel to Portland, Oregon for a media tour sponsored by the Alliance for Food & Farming and connect with some longtime friends while making new ones! We also traveled to Italy, and I wrote about our experiences in Tuscany and Rome (click here for the post) and the great fun we had. Bonus, we spent time with friends, too!

My Thanksgiving pies

Feast. What Thanksgiving feast wouldn’t be complete without pie? I admit, I love to bake but do it infrequently, but my pie making skills will be on full display this year.  I hope you enjoy your feast, too. My colleague, registered dietitian, Marisa Moore, says it best: “It’s OK to eat your holiday favorites as is—no need to make them “guilt-free.” Friendly reminder: Guilt was never an ingredient in pie or any food.” 

Happy anniversary to us!

Food, family, friends, fun and feasting are all things I’m grateful for! And, one more…. this Thanksgiving weekend I’ll be celebrating my 47th wedding anniversary….and that will involve food, family, friends, fun and feasting!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Chris Rosenbloom is a registered dietitian and nutrition professor emerita at Georgia State University. She is the co-author of Food & Fitness After 50 and authors the blog Fit to Eat. Click here to follow her blog.