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Published By Ken Helmuth on December 19, 2016

Pile on the eggnog, pecan pie, and mashed potatoes and gravy from Thanksgiving through New Year’s and many aging individuals get off-track nutritionally with the extra calories, fat, sodium and sugar. During the holidays, the key is to consume fewer unhealthy foods and revel in festivities at the same time. But how? The following tips can help:

  • Plan ahead and choose wisely. Forget winging it at holiday functions. Consider eating a light protein snack before the party and bring healthier foods to the function including a vegetable or fresh fruit tray.
  • Know basic calorie counts. Checking the calories in favorite holiday foods can motivate seniors to indulge a bit, but curb the temptation to have a second slice of pie or take home leftover fudge.
  • Select smaller portions. Sample a few bites of “off-limit” foods and practice eating in moderation overall. Choosing a smaller plate also can help with portion control.
  • Ease up on alcoholic beverages. At holiday celebrations and parties, alternate between drinking spirits and drinking nonalcoholic, calorie-free drinks. Stay hydrated with water throughout a gathering.
  • Be aware of emotions. Socializing with loved ones during the holidays can stir up tender and unresolved issues. Even the smell of certain holiday foods can trigger a painful emotional response.
  • Substitute instead of skip out. Citrus, vanilla and cinnamon are delicious substitutes for full amounts of sugar in recipes. Unsweetened applesauce or mashed bananas work well for fat ingredients. The Mayo Clinic issued a substitution guide for replacing ingredients with healthier choices.

To avoid overindulging this holiday season, talk ahead of time with family and party hosts about alternative recipes, or contribute your own healthier culinary creations. Holiday recipe makeovers from the chef experts at Cooking Light® and the Food Network, for example, will delight everyone’s taste buds and keep the unwanted sugar, fat, sodium and calories off the guest list.

How have you helped a senior loved one plan for healthier eating during the holiday season?

 

Healthier Holiday Eating

Pile on the eggnog, pecan pie, and mashed potatoes and gravy from Thanksgiving through New Year’s and many aging individuals get off-track nutritionally with the extra calories, fat, sodium and sugar. During the holidays, the key is to consume fewer unhealthy foods and revel in festivities at the same time. But how? The following tips can help:

  • Plan ahead and choose wisely. Forget winging it at holiday functions. Consider eating a light protein snack before the party and bring healthier foods to the function including a vegetable or fresh fruit tray.
  • Know basic calorie counts. Checking the calories in favorite holiday foods can motivate seniors to indulge a bit, but curb the temptation to have a second slice of pie or take home leftover fudge.
  • Select smaller portions. Sample a few bites of “off-limit” foods and practice eating in moderation overall. Choosing a smaller plate also can help with portion control.
  • Ease up on alcoholic beverages. At holiday celebrations and parties, alternate between drinking spirits and drinking nonalcoholic, calorie-free drinks. Stay hydrated with water throughout a gathering.
  • Be aware of emotions. Socializing with loved ones during the holidays can stir up tender and unresolved issues. Even the smell of certain holiday foods can trigger a painful emotional response.
  • Substitute instead of skip out. Citrus, vanilla and cinnamon are delicious substitutes for full amounts of sugar in recipes. Unsweetened applesauce or mashed bananas work well for fat ingredients. The Mayo Clinic issued a substitution guide for replacing ingredients with healthier choices.

 

To avoid overindulging this holiday season, talk ahead of time with family and party hosts about alternative recipes, or contribute your own healthier culinary creations. Holiday recipe makeovers from the chef experts at Cooking Light® and the Food Network, for example, will delight everyone’s taste buds and keep the unwanted sugar, fat, sodium and calories off the guest list. 

 

How have you helped a senior loved one plan for healthier eating during the holiday season?


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