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Healthy Holiday Dish Alternatives for Your Elderly Loved One

By Jennifer Thompson, 9:00 am on

Studies suggest that the average person gains at least two pounds over the holidays, which isn’t often lost by springtime. Year after year the amount of weight gained might become substantial. Additionally, the many health conditions that the elderly face could become aggravated when consuming high-caloric holiday meals. Caregivers in Nashville can recommend some ways to prepare alternative seasonal dishes that are both festive and healthy.

Healthier Dips

While enjoying the aromas that waft from the kitchen each holiday, many choose to stave off the hunger pangs with fresh veggies and dip. However, dips made with full-fat sour cream contain approximately 60 calories per ounce. Using nonfat sour cream or plain yogurt cuts the calorie count to between 20 and 25 per ounce.

Skinny Eggnog

A glass of eggnog easily harbors as many as 250 calories in addition to greater than half of the daily recommended amount of fat. Homemade versions have fewer calories when created with egg substitute, fat-free milk, sugar substitute and no alcohol. For an even healthier option, hot cider skims up to 150 calories and is fat-free.

Nutritious Meat

If you’re planning on serving turkey this year, consider the health benefits of choosing white instead of dark meat. A palm-sized portion of dark meat with the skin provides about 230 calories. On the other hand, the same size portion of breast meat without skin has around 160 calories.

Baked Sweet Potato

Candied sweet potato or yam casseroles are a holiday favorite for many. But consider that each ½ cup serving is around 215 calories. Think about oven-roasting the potatoes instead with a light brushing of canola or olive oil. This method cuts the calories down to 100 for a ¾ cup serving while retaining vital nutrients.

Low-Fat Gravy

While pan drippings are traditionally used to make gravy, the fat within the broth also adds unnecessary calories. Consider separating the fat with a separator cup or freezing the drippings for about 15 minutes until the fat rises and can be skimmed. Combine the broth with flour and seasonings and enjoy with some skinless turkey breast.

Managing your senior loved one’s diet can be challenging during the holiday season, but it doesn’t have to be. If you are busy this holiday season and need help caring for your senior loved one, Home Care Assistance can help. Our trained caregivers offer live-in and hourly in-home care Nashville families can trust, including safety monitoring, personal care assistance, and nutritious meal preparation. We can help senior loved ones on an as-needed basis while family members focus on making the holidays special for their family. Call a knowledgeable Care Manager today at (615) 656-4999 to learn more about our services and schedule a no-obligation consultation.