Seniors, Have a Joyful Holiday with Fun Crafts & Holiday Treats
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” and busiest, and most stressful. The holidays are meant to be an idyllic time to gather with family and friends, share traditions and engage in fun, memory-making activities. However, as we all know, family can overstay their welcome, responsibilities to make sure everyone enjoys themselves can be overwhelming, and the extra expenses incurred by holiday parties, food and gifts can put a financial strain on even the most well-planned budget.
Here are some simple and inexpensive ideas for fun paired with some healthy holiday food options the whole family is sure to enjoy.
The holiday season can be a lonely one for seniors, and stressful for caregivers, especially for those with families of their own. Plan ahead to make sure each week includes some fun activities and crafts for all ages. Pre-scheduling will take away much of the holiday anxiety, and the activities themselves will keep senior engaged and brighten spirits. Here are some suggestions:
- Grow an Amaryllis. These quick-growing flowers come in a variety of colors and add a touch of spring to any table or windowsill. Seniors and kids alike will enjoy watching as it grows significantly each day for weeks. Kits are easy to find during the holidays. Try online or at your local hardware or home improvement store.
- Attend a holiday craft fair. An annual tradition at churches, community centers and schools, a holiday craft fair is a great place to find one-of-a-kind gifts while supporting local artisans and independent businesses. Also, crafty seniors can gain lots of inspiration and creative ideas for their own projects.
- Get crafty. Speaking of crafts, why not make your own with your favorite senior friends or grandkids? Pinterest is the place to go for all things DIY. Try your hand at a no-sew sock snowman, or a custom cookie can made out of scrapbook papers and ribbons and a Pringles container (to carry cookies for neighbors). There are ornament and holiday card ideas to keep seniors busy for weeks. And to make your home smell of the holidays, try your hand at a scented mason jar candle.
- Share time with little ones. Seniors can stay young at heart by sharing time and traditions with little ones. Invite them over for an afternoon of storytime and cookie or latke making. You can use a family recipe or make it simple by buying pre-packaged cookie dough or shredded potatoes. While the treats are baking, gather around on the couch or a comfy area on the floor and take turns reading holiday classics, and even new favorites.
- Sing! If you play an instrument, then invite family and friends over to sing seasonal or holiday favorites! Turn on a recording or tap into digital playlists and radio on your smartphone with such apps as Spotify and Pandora. You can even take it a step further and go for an old-fashioned night of caroling around your community.
It can be hard to have self-discipline when it comes to food and beverage choices over the holidays. With parties, family gatherings, cookie-making, and often eating out more than usual, seniors may find themselves overeating. We all do it, but for aging adults who may already have weight-related health issues, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or even sleep apnea (which can be caused by being overweight), watching what you eat during the holidays and maintaining your weight is of utmost importance.
The key to eating healthy throughout the holiday season is to remember portion control and to make healthier, low-calorie choices rather than loading up on fatty, high-calorie dishes–even though they may look and smell delicious! Here are some healthier recipe options for you to consider:
- Swap out high-calorie ingredients for lower calorie–yet still tasty–options, such as Greek Yogurt instead of sour cream in dips. An ounce of sour cream has about 60 calories (25 for low-fat), while greek yogurt has only 15-20. Switch out about two ounces of your five-ounce glass of red or white wine with club soda and save around 60 calories.
- Skip creamy casseroles, even those with nutritious vegetables such as green beans or sweet potatoes, and opt for steamed or baked veggies with olive oil and herbs instead. Here’s a simple and tasty recipe for Lemon-Dill Green Beans. It’s only 73 calories per cup, and rich in vitamins A and C, iron and calcium.
- Choose your desserts wisely. It’s hard to resist holiday desserts from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, but you can save about 200 calories by choosing pumpkin pie (300 calories a slice) over pecan pie (about 500 calories). Neither is exactly eating healthy, but with the pumpkin you’re getting lots of vitamin A, calcium, and iron. And remember, calcium is important for keeping aging bones strong.
By following these yummy tips and suggestions, your holidays can be fun, relaxing and memorable. Contact our staff about dietary options and festive events at your senior living community as well as holiday outings around town. Our culinary staff crafts delicious meals and treats that are as healthy as they are tasty.
Our community allows seniors to age in place with caring, professional staff, numerous amenities and activities, and assistance every step of the way. Explore our website or call us today to talk to our staff concerning the services and amenities that we offer.