Healthy eating is important year-round, but seniors especially may face extra challenges during the holidays.
Eating healthy can be tricky during the holidays with all the rich and unhealthy food options that are readily available this time of year.
Cooking and eating is often a big part of celebrating the holidays, but this can make it hard to stick to a healthy diet – something that is especially important for senior citizens, who may have special dietary or health needs that must be accommodated. Here are a few tips to help seniors eat healthier over the holidays.
1.) Bring Your Own Food
One way to make sure you eat healthy when attending a holiday dinner is to bring your own food. You can offer to make a dish and bring it to the holiday dinner. That way you’ll know that at least one dish is healthy and something you are able to eat. This allows you to make sure there is food on the table that will meet your nutritional needs, as well as accommodate any extra eating challenges you may have such as dentures. You can even offer to bring more than one dish if the host is okay with it.
2.) Focus on Dishes With More Nutrients
When choosing what to eat while at the holiday party, try to fill up on foods that offer you more nutritional benefits. As a senior adult, it is important that everything you eat contain as many vitamins and minerals as possible. While you can also get nutrients from supplements, it is best to get your nutrients through natural food sources, which are more readily absorbed by your body. Seniors should try to eat mostly vegetables, whole grains, or items with plenty of fiber and other important nutrients you need at your age.
3.) Look for Softer Foods
If you have dental issues, you may also want to look for foods that are on the softer side. Whether you have most of your natural teeth but they are more sensitive, or you have dentures or partial bridges, it will be easier and more pleasant for you if you choose foods that are easier to chew. This means eating more things like deviled eggs, mashed potatoes, and sweet potatoes, and less hard or crunchy foods and appetizers.
4. Skip the Appetizers Altogether
Speaking of appetizers, you might want to lay off them if you’re trying to eat healthier. Appetizers are often filled with unhealthy ingredients, plus they increase the overall amount of fat and calories you are going to consume during the meal. Instead of filling up on appetizers, enjoy healthier and more nutritious foods at dinnertime by following the tips above.