Thanksgiving is typically a day to pause and give thanks for life’s many blessings. Many older adults gather with friends and family to enjoy a traditional meal. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the holiday’s traditional menu choices aren’t very healthy.
Foods like mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, dressing, and pecan pie are laden with fat, sodium, sugar, and carbohydrates. For a senior who has heart disease or diabetes, these foods can wreak havoc on their diet and possibly their health. Finding ways to give holiday favorites a makeover can be the solution.
Lightening up Traditional Holiday Foods
- Stick with turkey breast: Roast a turkey breast in lieu of the whole turkey. By skipping the dark meat, you lower your intake of saturated fat. You can lower it even more by removing the skin.
- Eliminate sauces and dips: Vegetables are great side dishes at almost any meal, including Thanksgiving. You can make them healthier by skipping the fatty sauces and creamy dips. A dash of herbs and olive oil is a healthier way to go.
- Bake the sweet potatoes: Instead of adding butter and marshmallows to your sweet potatoes, opt to serve baked sweet potatoes. You can add a little extra flavor by topping them with grass-fed butter and sprinkling them with cinnamon.
- Make your own cranberry dish: While it’s not as quick as grabbing a cranberry salad from the grocery store, making your own is healthier. Store-bought cranberry dishes are often loaded with high-fructose corn syrup. You can toss cranberries, apple slices, shredded carrots, and orange slices together to make a tasty but healthy dish instead.
- Skip the butter: When you are cooking your favorite Thanksgiving dishes, it might be tradition to use butter or heavy cream to enhance the flavor. A few healthier options to use are oil olive, grass-fed butter, or almond milk.
- Salad dressings: Another way to shave off fat and calories is by serving healthier salad dressings. Vinaigrette dressings are usually better choices than cream-based dressings.
Healthy Holiday Appetizers
Guests who are on a healthy diet will also appreciate healthy appetizers to fill up on prior to the main meal. This can keep them from getting too hungry and overeating or eating the wrong foods.
Here are a few healthy holiday appetizer suggestions:
- Cut vegetables and roasted red pepper hummus
- Fresh fruit with cinnamon-sprinkled plain yogurt
- Sweet potato bites topped with avocado
- Roasted edamame
- Peanut butter apple “nachos”
Finally, don’t overlook stocking your beverage cart with healthy, hydrating drinks. Water with slices of lemon or lime, pomegranate juice, and green tea are a few to consider.
Visit a Sunrise Community This Holiday Season
If you and your family will be discussing assisted living communities over the holidays this year, we invite you to consider Sunrise Senior Living. With over 320 communities throughout the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, you are sure to find a community that you will be happy to call home.
Source: Sunrise Senior Living