8 Ways for Seniors to Enjoy Holiday Parties While Sticking With a Restricted Diet
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and with all the holiday parties comes plenty of delicious food. For most of us, it’s a time of comfort and joy…but for those with restricted diets, they can be a time of stress. Seniors and other elderly folks can have a particularly tough time and often feel left out when they can’t eat most of the food available. Parties filled with delicious-looking food can be challenging to navigate when you can’t eat most of what’s on the menu. Don’t worry – there are plenty of ways to enjoy holiday parties while sticking to your restrictions.
Here are eight tips that will help you have a great time without compromising your diet…
1. Make a list of all the foods you can and cannot eat
It is always best to be prepared for the party, so before you go, list all the foods you can and cannot eat. This way, you’ll know right away what foods at the even your stomach can handle and which ones to avoid. This will also help you avoid tempting dishes that aren’t on your diet and stick to the food that fits your diet. Pay special attention to any foods related to allergies or other adverse reactions – such as gluten free, dairy-free, nut-free, or vegetarian/vegan friendly – and choose accordingly.
2. Bring your own food to share
It’s always a good idea to bring something to share when you’re invited to a party. What better opportunity to bring one or more items that fit with your dietary restrictions. You don’t want to be stuck eating the same vegetables or crackers all night. Bring something you enjoy that you know you can eat, and share it with others. It can be something like a side dish or a dessert that will satisfy your cravings so you won’t feel left out of the feast! Additionally, seniors and elderly people may find this beneficial as it can help to make sure they have something safe to eat at the party.
3. Talk to the host ahead of time
It never hurts to ask! Reach out to the host ahead of time and explain your dietary restrictions in detail. There are many times when the host may be willing to provide a dish or two that fits into your diet needs. Depending on the complexity of your dietary needs, the host may even be willing to adjust the entire menu. Either way, you will be able to better prepare for the party and be better able to enjoy most, if not all, the delicious food.
4. Avoid sugary foods that will spike your blood sugar levels
It’s important to keep your blood sugar levels in check, especially if you have diabetes or you’re taking medication that may be adversely affected. Steer clear of sugary foods and desserts that can spike your blood sugar levels and, instead, look for healthier alternatives like fresh fruit and nuts. These will still satisfy your sweet tooth cravings without negatively impacting your blood sugar levels.
5. Use a small plate for your food so that you don’t feel like you’re missing out on anything
It can be hard to restrict yourself from eating the delicious food at a party, especially when everyone else is enjoying it. One way to make sure that you don’t overindulge is by filling up a smaller plate than what’s normally used. Sounds counterintuitive, but it will actually help control your portion sizes and can help keep you on track with your diet. For example, if you want to try a little bit of everything, you will either need much smaller portions to fit on a smaller plate, or you’ll need to prioritize and skip some of the things that are lower priority.
6. Drink plenty of water throughout the night to stay hydrated and avoid overeating
When you’re feeling hungry, it’s easy to reach for more food than what you should be having. To avoid this, make sure that you drink plenty of water throughout the night. This will keep you hydrated and help fill your stomach so that you don’t feel as tempted to grab seconds or thirds of all the delicious party foods. Alcoholic drinks should also be avoided, or at least consumed in moderation, if you are on a restricted diet. Check the labels of any medications you’re taking for make sure there are no adverse effects with alcohol.
7. Get up and move around often
It’s important to stay active throughout the night and combat all that sitting. Roam around the party, chat with friends and family or even just move your feet to the music. Get up and move around regularly, even if it’s just dancing for a few minutes or walking around the room. Just don’t walk too close to the dessert table…This can help keep your energy levels up and distract you from all of the delicious foods calling your name.
8. Enjoy yourself
At the end of the day, what really matters is that you enjoy yourself and have a great time with friends and family. Don’t focus on all the things that you can’t have or all the restrictions that come with your diet. Instead, focus on spending quality time with loved ones and creating memories that will last for years to come. The food should be there to enhance your experiences, not be the focal point.
The holidays are a time for family, friends, and fun. If you’re on a restricted diet, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the party. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the festivities while still sticking to your food plan. With a little bit of creativity, planning ahead, and some help from your loved ones, you can celebrate without breaking your diet or feeling left out. Have you tried any of these tips for celebrating during the holiday season?
If you have any questions or need assistance preparing your loved ones for the holidays, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We, at Silver Companions, would be happy to help in any way we can, even just a conversation about your unique situation. Drop us an email at info@SilverCompanions.com or give us a call at (678) 494-8129.
Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season filled with comfort and joy!