Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday filled with quality family time and lots of good food. However, Thanksgiving can be a difficult holiday for seniors with diabetes. Overeating or eating foods high in fat or sugar can be dangerous. Here are some healthy and helpful Thanksgiving Day tips from the expert caregivers at Home Care Assistance located in Grand Rapids, MI.
Many people neglect to eat breakfast and lunch because they’re “saving up” for the big holiday meal. However, eating normal meals makes it easier not to overeat and overindulge come dinner time. Make sure your senior eats healthy, well-balanced meals throughout the day and share any food restrictions he or she has with the host or cook.
Go Easy on the Meat
White turkey meat is slightly lower in fat and has fewer calories than dark meat. On the other hand, dark meat boasts more iron, zinc, thiamine, and riboflavin. Your loved one can have whichever he or she likes best, but limit portion size to no more than 4 oz. And, as delicious as it is, ditch the turkey skin.
Make Mashed Potatoes with Low Fat Milk
Refrain from making mashed potatoes with whole milk and butter. Instead, choose low or nonfat milk and margarine. Other healthy substitutes are low or nonfat sour cream or chicken broth. Another great alternative is mashed cauliflower. When done right, you can’t tell the difference.
Eat Lots of Vegetables
Make sure there is a large variety of raw or steamed veggies to choose from and aim to fill half your senior’s plate with them. Filling up on vegetables will help him or her avoid overeating or eating too much of the unhealthy stuff.
Choose Pumpkin Pie for Dessert
For dessert, pumpkin pie is a better choice than pecan pie. If possible, make the pie with a sugar substitute and nonfat evaporated milk. Be sure to have low-fat and/or sugar-free whipped cream on hand.
Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday that everyone should be able to enjoy. With these tips, even seniors with diabetes can enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving Day meal with minimal modifications. If you could use some help during the holiday season caring for an elderly adult, contact Home Care Assistance at (616) 243-0835 to learn more about hourly senior care in Grand Rapids.