Regardless of what you celebrate during the holiday season, there’s going to be a lot of food around. Perhaps your family enjoys baking sugar cookies or sweet potato pie. And don’t forget the endless portions of turkey with gravy or those homemade, savoury potato latkes with sour cream. Whatever your family menu might include this year, it’s undoubtedly going to be delicious and decadent.
While celebrating the festive season with traditional, tasty meals is enticing, you have to pay close attention to what foods you eat as a senior. Many seniors have digestive issuesor are unable to chew certain foods because of teeth and gum problems. Seniors must maintain a nourishing diet to remain healthy and in excellent shape. But just because you reach a certain age doesn’t mean you can’t participate in the fun! It simply means cutting back on a couple of items and substituting them for other yummy treats.
Sitting around the table with family while enjoying a meal is a pivotal component of any holiday celebration. Let’s look at some healthy eating tips for seniors forthe festive season.
Eat a Snack Before You Go
Recovering from a big meal is relatively easy for many younger adults. However, seniors who have dietary restrictions might not experience such ease. Instead of showing up to a family dinner on an empty stomach, eat something at home before you leave. By snacking on something beforehand, you won’t feel as hungry and temptedto overeat. Choose something nutritious to munch on, such as nuts or a banana.
What to Avoid
Try to partake in all of your family and friends’ festive feasts, but there are a few items that you might want to avoid. Do you have trouble chewing food? Here’s a list of things you’ll want to stay away from, with the recommended alternatives:
- Hard bread — consider rice or bread pudding instead.
- Fresh, crunchy fruit — bring along some applesauce or canned peaches to enjoy at the party.
- Cooked or roasted meats — try ground meats, eggs, soft cheeses, or a vegetarian option such as tofu.
Do you have digestive issues? You probably already know to avoid greasy, fried foods and to watch your fibre intake. Another good trick to remember is to eat slowly. Slowly chewing your food will make you more aware of what you’re eating and aid in your body’s digestion.
You could also take a professional caregiver with you from one of the trusted home care agencies in Toronto and the surrounding area. A home caregiver can help make senior-appropriate meals and guide your healthy eating over the holidays.
Throw Away the Guilt
Let’s face it, while it’s essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle this time of year, there’s a chance you might indulge in some holiday treats — and that’s fine! Don’t beat yourself up over participating in family celebrations. The trick is to recognize it and not to make it a habit. To be safe, be prepared and bring your digestion medications with you.
Enjoy the company of family and friends this holiday, but don’t forget to eat consciously!