Healthy Holiday Eating Tips for Seniors (with Infographic)

Holidays are happy times, but they are also the time when you put on weight. This guide will give you healthy holiday eating tips for seniors so that they can avoid putting on unnecessary weight which can be dangerous for their health

Holidays are that time of the year when everybody lets off steam and enters a more relaxing and festive zone. Hanging out with friends and family at gatherings, parties, and dinners is quite a common theme during these days. The majority of the people don’t realize that they also lose control over their healthy eating habits or diet during this time. 

Seniors and people suffering from any health condition should look after themselves and eat according to their diet during the holidays. This article will cover how you can eat healthy even in the holidays. 

Healthy Holiday Eating Tips for Seniors

Enjoying The Thanksgiving Feast Responsibly

The holiday season more or less starts with Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is known for its food and variety of meals. As a senior, you must make some key decisions about how much you will eat and at what intervals you will eat. 

These key decisions are vital as they will help you stick to your diet plan and remain in a fit shape even after the holidays. Many senior citizens don’t eat a healthy and balanced meal, so you can use Thanksgiving as an excuse for making them eat a balanced diet. 

You can follow the following tips for enjoying the thanksgiving feast responsibly:-

Plan a healthy feast

As a thanksgiving dinner or feast is centered around a meal, you don’t need to ignore all healthy eating habits. You can start by monitoring the seniors’ salt, sugar, and fat intake, and you can also encourage them to continue their healthy diet even during these festive times. 

Deal with the emotions of the seniors

Many times, seniors can have mixed emotions about the holiday season. This emotional instability can contribute to a lack of proper diet or even overeating. The best possible way to prevent this is by confronting the seniors about their feelings. 

If they feel lonely or miss their loved ones, you can help them overcome that feeling. You can schedule meetups and gatherings so that they don’t feel lonely and sad. 

Consider their dietary needs

Our seniors’ medical condition and health require a special diet. Hence keep their dietary needs in mind. Keep in mind their food restrictions, medical conditions, and most importantly, prevent them from overeating. This will help them and everyone around enjoy Thanksgiving a little more than ever. 

Healthy Holiday Eating Tips for Seniors

Holiday Survival Tips If You Have Diabetes

There are almost 34 million people in America that suffer from some sort of diabetes. The holiday season for such people can be really difficult to handle. This is the season that offers delicious sugary sweets and other temptations. Sometimes even the healthiest eaters eat, having their blood sugar levels higher than the permitted value. 

Check your blood sugar level

Before attending any gathering or events, make sure to test and know your blood sugar level. This will give you an idea about how much sweets and sugar you can consume without exceeding the limit. In case of emergencies, you can also keep a separate testing kit with yourself. 

This testing kit will come in handy whenever you feel your blood sugar level rising. You can also use alarms and reminders whenever you have to take your medicine so that your sugar remains in check. You can also have a strategy to consume a healthy snack at regular intervals to maintain a balance. 

Don’t skip any meals

As a diabetic patient, you must take your meals properly and regularly. Sometimes while at a party and gathering, it is not in your control to eat at your will, so for such times, it is better that you carry your extra snacks and meals. 

Skipping meals when you are diabetic can cause your blood sugar to drop very low. Then consuming a holiday treat just after skipping a meal can create a sugar spike that is not healthy for you. Carry rescue food with yourself whenever you go out this holiday season. This rescued food should have near 15 grams of carbohydrates in them. 

Drink water

For diabetic patients, it is not just about the meals they consume but also about the amount of water and other fluids they consume over this festive period. The holiday treats also include many drinks and beverages with higher sugar content. These drinks are known to elevate your blood sugar levels very rapidly. 

Moderating these drinks and beverages is important to keep your diabetes in check. You can enjoy your holidays by drinking low-sugar alternatives to other drinks such as herbal drinks, sparkling water, etc. 

Healthy Holiday Eating Tips for Seniors

Make The Sugar Count During The Holidays

It is quite possible to forget track of your sugar count over the holidays with the availability of such tasty cravings. As a senior and a diabetic person, you must not indulge in these cravings and try to keep yourself out of them.

Some helpful strategies that might help you to balance your sugar count over the holidays:-

Have a balanced diet

This holiday season having a balanced diet should be your priority for controlling your blood sugar. It is not that you should not have any of the holiday treats, but you should limit your intake. 

Remember to balance the intake of carbohydrates with protein and non-starchy vegetables to have control over the glucose levels. According to the American Diabetes Association, you should keep the starch intake below 25% of the overall meal. Maintaining this ratio will keep your sugar in control. 

Modify the recipes

This is a very clever approach to enjoy all the holiday meals and still not increase your sugar levels. You can make some modifications or changes to the recipes so that they don’t cause a spike in your sugar levels. 

For instance, you can replace the starch from your recipes with mashed cauliflower. Mashed cauliflower is a non-starchy vegetable. The potatoes can be replaced with sugar replacements. If you are making a pumpkin pie with a traditional recipe, you can use a whole-grain oatmeal crust, which is a healthier alternative to pastry. 

Choose the food wisely

Choose the food, especially dessert, wisely. You might be very tempted to eat cakes and other desserts over this holiday period.

You will have to rationalize the choice of sweets you have. Instead of a whole carb dessert, you can opt for the one with nuts, fruits, and berries, along with other ingredients. Eating fruits will help your body greatly, as these choices reduce the carbs you take. 

Select beverages cautiously

Select the beverages and the drinks you have over the holidays cautiously. Most of the guides on diabetes mention tips only on food rather than drinks and beverages. Alcohol can lower your blood sugar level to dangerously low levels.

Don’t have fancy cocktails as they are most likely filled with sugar. You can opt for a non-mixer drink like wine or a glass of scotch on the rocks. You should always consume alcohol with food, as liquor can lower the sugar, whereas the carbohydrates in the food can balance these sugar levels. You should also monitor the blood sugar levels every 24 hours.

Healthy Holiday Eating Tips for Seniors

Exercise Regularly

As a senior and a diabetic patient, you must perform regular exercises. You will require a good amount of discipline to exercise in these festive times regularly. You don’t need to go for an intense workout. Instead, just a brisk 20 minutes is sufficient to keep you healthy. A walk half an hour after eating a meal can regulate your blood sugar levels for 24 hours. 

Plan Ahead For Healthy Holiday Eating 

There are various reasons you need to plan for healthy holiday eating. Planning ahead of the holiday season is essential as it helps you set a tone for the holiday season by giving you a basic idea about how you should approach the festive season. 

The most prominent causes why you should plan for a healthy holiday:

Travel

You might have to travel a lot during this festive season, due to the traveling your whole diet is very likely to get messed up. So you must research the location you are traveling to and the type of food available there. Travel can easily disrupt a person’s daily routine, plus traveling over the festive period is very hectic. You will have smart eating choices while at airports, restaurants, etc. 

Social gatherings

Social gatherings are very common over the festive period. Due to this, you can be involved in many parties and events over a short time. Firstly, an essential tip is to scour the whole menu or buffet before attacking the food. Surveying the menu before will give you a good idea about which items you can eat without spiking your sugar levels. 

Stress

Stress is also a major contributing factor towards eating, and you must have heard about the term stress eating. During stress eating, the person generally ignores all diet plans and restrictions. 

Healthy Holiday Eating Tips for Seniors

Wrap Up

While enjoying holidays, it is essential to keep control of food intake. As a senior or diabetic patient, this article talks about how you can still enjoy the holiday season while staying healthy. Such simple and effective strategies will improve your entire holiday experience massively. 

Did you love the content? Make sure to post the article to your social media handles and in your groups, so that others can benefit from it. Didn’t find an answer you were looking for? Drop us a ping and we will get back to you quickly.