Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and you can nearly catch a faint aroma of it now: the roasting turkey, homemade loaf of bread, fresh-baked pumpkin pie, and the rest of the delicacies we take pleasure in during Thanksgiving with loved ones. But for seniors who have to deal with the struggles of sticking to a particular nutritional regimen, as with diabetes or other long-term medical conditions, Thanksgiving may feel more like a time for restrictions and limitations.
It is possible, however, to indulge in a healthy Thanksgiving without overdoing it. These recommendations, courtesy of the Olathe home health professionals at Hearts at Home, are a great place to start:
- Begin the day with a nutritious breakfast. Though it may well seem sensible to forego breakfast on Thanksgiving morning to save room for the heavy meal to come, it’s always best to begin with a wholesome meal to start the day.
- Experiment with something new. There are a wide variety of delicious, healthier adaptations of conventional Thanksgiving dishes. Try mashing cauliflower rather than potatoes, or roasting sweet potatoes with cinnamon and olive oil to serve instead of candied yams.
- Go easy on desserts. It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without those delicious home-baked desserts, and as long as the dietary plan allows it, a small portion of a couple of beloved treats delivers the satisfaction of a sweet ending to the meal. Try to incorporate some fresh fruit as well.
- Stop eating when you begin to feel full. Considering that we tend to overindulge at Thanksgiving more than at any other time, listen more closely to your stomach than your eyes. Although it’s certainly tempting to go back for seconds and even thirds during holiday mealtimes, our bodies inform us when we’ve had enough. Choosing to use a smaller plate is also a very good way to regulate portion sizes and prevent overindulgence.
- Don’t forget to exercise! Instead of slouching onto the sofa for the remainder of the day, get up and get active to burn off all of those calories. Go for a walk, or engage in some energetic games that the whole family can participate in together.
For more healthy Thanksgiving tips, contact the Olathe home health experts at Hearts at Home. We’re also available to provide assistance before, during and after the holidays to keep seniors healthy, safe and well. Just a few of the ways we can help:
- Grocery shopping and running other errands
- Planning and preparing healthy, delicious meals in line with seniors’ dietary plans
- Providing accompanied transportation to family functions and other outings, making sure the senior’s needs are fully met
- Serving as a friendly companion to keep loneliness away
- And so much more