The holiday season is in full swing and there are a couple things to keep in mind during this season, especially when it comes to eating. The holidays are definitely a time where all types of foods, the good and the bad, are on full spread. According to Jill Kohn, MS, RDN, LDN, “on average, Americans gain approximately one to two pounds during the holiday season.” For our elderly loved ones, this may not always be a bad thing. However, for their fragile bodies the foods they are consuming may be where the problem comes in. Below we’ve outlines a few different things to keep in mind during your holiday get-togethers to ensure mom and dad are eating correctly!
Salt and Sugar
Try to keep away from foods that are overly high in sodium. Too much sodium can lead to a spike in blood pressure and water retention. Super sugary desserts are definitely something we don’t want to miss out on – so instead of making room for those desserts, leave room for them by not overindulging beforehand.
Use small plates
Eating with small plates can help to limit an overindulgence all at once. This can also be helpful because eating smaller portions more frequently throughout the day will leave our seniors feeling more satisfied and energized. This can help to prevent the well-known “food coma”.
A toast with the family and a drink or two to celebrate should really be the limit. Alcohol can have a lot of different effects on existing conditions. Not to mention, the different medications or vitamins our seniors are taking. Alcohol can be a poor mix with some of these pills and should be avoided in large amounts.
Drink Plenty of Water
Dehydration is something that can happen so quickly. Salt and Alcohol can make us become dehydrated quicker than we think. Consistently having a glass of water to accompany our other drinks or meals can ensure we are keeping hydrated. This is definitely one of the most important things to keep in mind. Dehydration can have various of different effects on the body that are not always clear signs of dehydration.
Overall, if our seniors stick to a relatively good diet year-round there is no reason why they can’t have a couple of days of sweet treats and those all too good dips! However, it is important we keep track of exactly what and how much they are eating and drinking. Too much salt in a meal or too much alcohol can be problematic. So, stayed informed and have a happy holiday!
Kohn, Jill. “Stay Mindful with 4 Tips for Holiday Eating.” Www.eatright.org, 20 Dec. 2016, www.eatright.org/resource/health/lifestyle/holidays/a-healthy-approach-to-holiday-eating.
Lafazia, Justin. “6 Senior Diet Tips for a Happy & Healthy Holiday.” Relative Care, 13 Nov. 2017, www.myrelativescare.com/blog/6-senior-diet-tips-healthy-holidays/.
Holiday Retirement. “Is Your Aging Loved One Eating Right?” The Holiday Retirement, 14 Dec. 2015, www.holidayretirement.com/healthy-eating-tips-for-seniors/.