Close your eyes, breathe in deeply, and you can nearly catch the aroma of it now: the turkey roasting, buttery yeast rolls, fresh-baked pies and other desserts, and the other special treats we delight in during Thanksgiving festivities with family and friends. But for seniors who struggle with the concerns of following a special dietary plan, as is the case with diabetes or other ongoing medical conditions, Thanksgiving might feel more like a time for restraint and restriction.
However, there are ways to celebrate a healthy Thanksgiving without overdoing it. These guidelines, from the St. Louis home care professionals at Compassionate Nursing Services, are a great place to start:
- Begin the day with a healthy breakfast. Although it may seem a good idea to skip breakfast on Thanksgiving morning to allow plenty of room for the heavy meal to come, it’s crucial to start the day with a well-balanced breakfast.
- Try out something new. There are a wide variety of delicious, healthier adaptations of conventional Thanksgiving fare. Try mashing cauliflower as opposed to potatoes, or sweet potatoes roasted with cinnamon and olive oil instead of candied yams.
- Cut back on desserts. It wouldn’t feel like Thanksgiving without those delicious home-baked desserts, and as long as the dietary plan allows it, a smaller sized portion of one or two favorite desserts provides the enjoyment of a sweet finish to the meal. Try to add in some fresh fruit as well.
- Stop eating when you begin to feel full. Since we have a tendency to overeat at Thanksgiving more than at other times, listen more closely to your stomach than your eyes. Although it’s certainly tempting to go back for seconds and even thirds during a holiday meal, our bodies let us know when we’ve had enough. Utilizing a smaller plate is also a very good way to control portion sizes and prevent overeating. Remember to exercise! Instead of slouching onto the couch for the remainder of the holiday, get up and get active to burn off all of those calories. Take a walk, or engage in some lively games that the whole family can participate in together.
For more healthy Thanksgiving advice, contact the St. Louis home care experts at Compassionate Nursing Services. We’re also available to provide assistance before, during and after the holidays to keep seniors healthy, safe and well. Just several of the ways we can help include:
- Grocery shopping and running other errands
- Planning and preparing wholesome, delicious meals in accordance with seniors’ dietary plans
- Providing escorted transportation to family events and other outings, ensuring the senior’s needs are fully met
- Serving as a friendly companion to combat isolation
- And so much more