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The holidays are a joyous time for seniors, children and everyone in-between. It’s a time of gifts, family get-togethers, shared stories and lots of delicious food. The problem, of course, is that going overboard on the delicious and indulgent holiday food can have repercussions. What can a health-conscious senior do to keep an eye his or her diet during the holiday season?

  • Ask for options. No one likes to be considered a picky eater, but if a person has diet related health concerns, it’s perfectly fine to ask that these be taken into consideration when preparing a holiday dinner. Let the host, hostess or chef know that there are certain foods or ingredients that could be problematic and ask if alternatives can be provided.

  • Think ahead. If the family lunch is going to feature a table overflowing with food, eat a light, nutritious breakfast and plan on something simple, such as a salad, for dinner. If the feast is scheduled for the evening, schedule some time for some light after-dinner exercise, such as a walk around the block, to keep from going to bed with too full a stomach.

  • Stay balanced. Consider ways to play foods off against each other. For example, a helping of starchy mashed potatoes can be balanced by fresh broccoli. If there will be an array of tempting desserts, try to eat just small portions of two or three throughout the day, rather than full portions of each all at once.

  • Watch the snacks. Holiday get-togethers often begin long before the arrival of dinner, and snacks are usually on hand to ease hunger until the table is ready. It’s easy to overload on chips and dip or tasty candy treats. Monitor the amount of snacks or ask for a healthy snack, such as a fruit or vegetables.

  • Liquids count. Staying hydrated is important which means an appropriate amount of water intake is required. It’s important to remember that sodas come with high amounts of calories and caffeine, so they should be imbibed in moderation. Special attention should be paid to alcohol, as drinking too much can cause a range of problems from medications, indigestion, drowsiness or other medical complications.

  • Don’t race. Gulping down food can not only increase the likelihood of choking and cause digestion problems, it can also result in eating more food than a person actually wants. Take the time to eat at a leisurely pace to enjoy each and every bite. Make sure to stop when you’re full.

HomeHero’s excellent staff of caregivers can be an aid in eating healthily during holidays. Use their assistance to help you prepare for any holiday events that may be coming up.

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