With the holidays right around the corner, we decided to share some Thanksgiving traditions and favorites dishes of dietitians and dietetic interns living and working in Virginia. Whether you plan to stick to your personal traditions or feel like adding a new one to the table, read below for some tried and true favorites!

Courtney Bascom, a Charlottesville Virginia native, works for The University of Virginia Health System as an outpatient Oncology dietitian. She celebrates with family, food, and a special tradition for documented memories: “Chestnut stuffing is my all-time favorite, filled with delicious chunks of bread and hearty chestnuts. It is absolutely delicious! One of the traditions that has been taking place over the years is writing what we are all thankful for on a tablecloth with the date. This is so much fun as we can look back on what we said years ago!” Courtney Bascom, RDN

Amy LaFalace, the Director for the Virginia Tech Northern Virginia Dietetic Internship program has hosted Thanksgiving for the past 8 years, with a very large gathering, turkey cooking secrets, and after meal traditions. This year she states: “This year we’ll have our largest gathering yet with 17 people, including 7 children. My favorite dishes to serve are fresh cranberry sauce, roasted brussel sprouts, and of course a whole roasted turkey. Anything else can be delegated or swapped out from year to year depending on the preferences of our guests. My secret for a perfectly cooked, juicy turkey is a convection oven (along with plenty of melted butter and white wine!)  While I normally eat dinner with my kids, at Thanksgiving we let the kids eat first in the kitchen. Then we put on a movie for them so the adults can enjoy a leisurely meal together in the dining room. It’s one of the few times per year that I can actually talk with my parents and siblings over dinner!” Amy LaFalce, MS, RD, LD

Owner of Kath Eats Real Food, Katherine Younger, a blogger, entrepreneur, and dietitian, celebrated Thanksgiving 2018 with the joy of a brand-new baby. She enjoys the comfort of close family, local dishes from Charlottesville, and a favorite all-time favorite; sweet potato casserole. Check out her blog to find out how she will celebrate Thanksgiving this year: katheats.com

Shelley Palmer, a Richmond VA native and current dietetic intern with the Virginia Tech Northern Virginia site, celebrates with a “Friendsgiving”. She celebrates with anywhere between 10-20 people and this year they will be smoking a pig!

What are some of your Thanksgiving favorites?

Emily Solis is a Dietetic Intern with the Virginia Tech – Northern Virginia site. She enjoys running, gardening, and baking pies on Sundays.