The holiday season finds people scurrying about with parties, shopping, cooking, gift wrapping, and fabulous food. At no other time of the year does your palate get to taste rich and decadent dishes as much as during the holidays. For the elderly, indulging in some fudge or Christmas cookies can be a tasty alternative to the mundane meals throughout the year. Yet, it can also invite overindulgence. As we age, our bodies require special care and our diets are no exception.
Suggestions for Helping Your Senior Eat and Stay Healthy through the Festive Season
It is a little harder to balance healthy eating when tempting food is all around. It takes a little planning to make sure your older family member is eating healthy during this festive time of year, but it isn’t that hard.
- Plan Healthy Meals. With all the rich, decadent desserts and meals available, it is easy to overindulge. When planning your holiday menu, think through all the events taking place. For instance, if you will be serving a large dinner on Christmas Eve, provide lighter alternatives such as soup or salad for lunchtime. Gorging on unique items and foods for subsequent meals can result in some seniors experiencing discomfort.
- Provide Opportunities to Stay Hydrated. Everyone, not just the elderly, must stay hydrated during all the celebrations. For seniors, a lack of water can quickly land them in the hospital. Keep water handy at home and while traveling.
- Be Mindful of Dietary Restrictions. Many elderly family members may be on a restricted diet, for example, a low-sodium diet. It is imperative that they follow it. Many holiday recipes can be full of all those restricted ingredients. Search for healthy recipe alternatives such as lower sodium versions or different sweetening agents in recipes. Keeping some fresh-cut fruits and vegetables within reach can help everyone eat a little healthier during this joyously busy time of year.
- Drink Alcohol in Moderation. Imbibing in a celebratory toast can be expected, but it is crucial not to overindulge. Drinking will not only impair functions but also brings the risk of adverse effects on your senior when mixed with certain medications. Provide festive, alcohol-free drinks so everyone can enjoy holiday toasts.
Help your elderly family members stay healthy with joining in all the festivities of the season. The chefs at Wesley Enhanced Living help elderly residents enjoy the seasonal treats while staying on track with their nutritional needs. Contact one of our several Philadelphia and surrounding area locations and find out how we can help you or your loved one. Our staff will be glad to discuss your elder’s needs, give you a tour, and educate you on all our services.
Wesley Enhanced Living provides high-quality rehabilitation and skilled nursing care for you or your loved ones. Please visit our skilled nursing communities to learn more or click here to request more information today.