Around this time of year, as we gather with friends and family to eat our special holiday foods, the temptation to over-indulge is high. But with the special diets adhered to by many seniors, it's important to stay in check as closely as possible.
There are many ways to enjoy the holiday season without the guilt. Ruth Douthett, dietetic technician for Concordia Lutheran Ministries, offers a few nutrition tips for seniors? but these ideas will work for most anybody.
1. Start your day with a small nutritional meal: At breakfast you'll want to include fruit, whole grains and protein. Try a fruit smoothie, yogurt parfait or a peanut butter sandwich on whole grain bread to keep you from that mid-morning snack attack.
2. Don't skip meals throughout the day: Don't starve yourself saving up for the big meal. The longer you go without eating, the more you will eat when you finally sit down for that holiday feast.
3. Snacking actually isn't a bad idea: Sometimes eating a light snack before you go to a party will help you not over-indulge on the items that are even worse for you. Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables to help fill you up without adding too many extra calories.
4. Stay hydrated: Sip water between calorie-ridden drinks. This will help you drink fewer calories throughout the evening and curb your appetite a little as well.
5. Watch your portion sizes: Any food in moderation is okay, but try thinking about which ones you really want to eat and which ones you might want to just sample. Rate each dish on the table from 1 to 10 the higher the number the healthier the dish. Try to avoid or just sample the lower numbers.
6. Schedule regular exercises: Odds are you won't exercise at your holiday parties, but don't forget to schedule time for light, indoor exercises throughout the season. Not only is it important to help maintain your weight, but it helps you feel better about yourself and better handle the stress of the holidays.
7. Enjoy the celebration: This is the time to enjoy great foods, have fun and celebrate with loved ones. Don't let it pass you by!
For many seniors, establishing and maintaining a regular, nutritious diet is one reason for considering a move to a worry-free retirement apartment or assisted living community. Concordia always offers free, personalized tours at our five locations - Cabot, South Hills, Allison Park (Rebecca Residence), Butler (Orchard), Plum Borough (Ridgewood Place) - for individuals wishing to learn more.
E-mail us here or call 1.888.352.1571 to see what might be right for you or your loved one.