With the holiday season in full-swing, it’s all about good company and great food these days. Though holiday meals seem tempting, sometimes, we have to stay away from our favourite foods because of the  high-fat, high-sodium, high-sugar, processed ingredients.

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Health concerns like diabetes, high blood pressure or simply water retention, are particularly common when it comes to the elderly members of the family. So, when preparing food, there is an added pressure to ensure that the meals meet the dietary requirements of the elderly.

To help you find healthier alternatives for traditional holiday ingredients and enjoy a quality meal with your family, we have shared a few recommendations below. With these ingredients, you can make delicious dishes which can easily be included in the diet for an elderly person as well. It’s definitely a win-win situation!

Switch to healthier dips

We start packing on the calories even before we move on to the main course. This is because the dips that are a holiday staple generally have full fat sour cream or tons of cheese.

Just by switching to healthier dips, we can create starters that are great for everyone, particularly elderly living with high-blood pressure and cholesterol issues. For instance, you can use ingredients like Greek yogurt, chickpeas and avocados to whip up some amazing dips. You can also find some unique, healthy dip ideas on Delish.

Swap sugar with natural sweeteners

Without realising, we end up consuming a lot of sugar during holidays. This is because some form of sugar is present in pretty much everything we eat or drink.

This holiday season, try to substitute refined sugar with more natural alternatives such as pureed dates and fresh fruits. This does not only add sweetness but also provides additional fiber. Dates and bananas are popular alternatives when it comes to baking.

For a lower glycemic load you can also try agave. Other options include applesauce and honey. Cookie and kate, has some fantastic naturally sweetened recipes that you can try!

Choose healthy veggies for sides

Most of the calorie content comes from the carbohydrate-rich side dishes which we all love. These sides are usually super creamy and feature most people’s favourite carb – yes, that’s right – potato.

Even though it may seem impossible to think of alternatives for potato, there are plenty of other healthier veggies that can be added to your holiday menu. One amazing alternative is cauliflower. It can replace mashed potatoes because it offers similar consistency and flavor. Similarly green beans casserole can be a great side which is not only healthy but extremely tasty.

Thinking of what other options are available? You can visit culinary nutrition for some versatile sides which your elderly parents would love!

Avoid store bought, processed stuff

With so much going on during the holiday season, we end up buying processed dressings, sauces and other items for our meals. While it does save us time, we end up compromising on the nutritional value.

When it comes to dressings for salads, there a lot of quick and easy recipes that you can follow. For instance you can put together lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, black pepper and vinegar, to make a dressing which is healthy, has the good fats and is light.

Brown is the new white!

Another quick solution to calorie laden meals is substituting the whites with the browns. For instance, replace white flour with whole-wheat flour and white rice with brown rice. These alternatives are full of nutrients, flavor, and keep you fuller for longer. The extras fiber content aids in digestion and contributes to lowering the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

With these small changes, you can eliminate the extra calories, sodium, and processed sugar from your holidays meals and make them delicious, healthy and guilt-free! So this season, as we, at LocateMotion, keep loved ones safe and prevent wandering, you can focus on whipping up those yummy meals!

So what’s the wait, go on and enjoy the holiday delicacies with your loved ones now. Happy holidays!

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Author: Erum Ansari is a public relations professional who specializes in technology comms. She is an avid reader, a travel enthusiast, and a self-proclaimed story-teller. Before joining the content team at Your Doctors Online, Erum was the PR manager at Hill & Knowlton Strategies and was handling communications and content strategy for a diverse portfolio of brands. She is also a new mom who is finding her way around motherhood.