Holiday meals with family and friends are things most people look forward to every year. The hardest part is sticking with the healthy habits you’ve created the entire year. Some people believe they have to avoid foods high in sodium and other unhealthy ingredients, while others eat anything they want and understand that their healthy habits will go to waste. By cooking with the right ingredients and eating the appropriate foods, you can find yourself somewhere in the middle. You can enjoy a great meal or two and still feel healthy in the process. Here are some valuable tips to help you enjoy a great low sodium holiday meal.
Avoid Packaged Or Pre-Prepared Foods
It may be easiest to buy some packaged or pre-prepared foods to serve at your holiday meal. However, whether you’re worried about an aging parent’s health or just want to serve the healthiest meal possible, it’s ideal to avoid these. Things like canned cranberry sauce, pre-packaged pecan pies, sweet potatoes, and other common holiday meal items contain a significant amount of sodium. Making these items from scratch is always ideal since you can control what ingredients you put in.
Choose The Freshest Meat Possible
Holiday ham is one of the most popular items served at meals, but it’s loaded with sodium. Chicken and turkey may also have a high sodium content since those items are often injected with different ingredients for flavoring and to make it appear larger. If you’re providing senior care for a loved one with health concerns, it’s worth speaking to a butcher or read on the labels to find out which meats have the least amount of sodium added and opt for those.
Opt For Unsalted Soup Stock Or Broth
Cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup, and other similar soups or broths are common ingredients in holiday meals. They give certain food items a great flavor, but they are also loaded with sodium. Low-sodium products may seem like the answer, but they are often substituted with potassium chloride, which may not be ideal for an aging parent either. A few brands are available that make unsalted broths and soups that don’t contain any potassium chloride. Use these products whenever possible, to have healthy and filling meal options.
Choose Cheese And Butter Wisely
Cheese and butter are also common holiday meal ingredients but aren’t very good for maintaining healthy habits. However, you don’t have to avoid these tasty ingredients altogether. Opt for using unsalted butter whenever possible, and choose cheese naturally low in sodium. Good cheese options can include ricotta, swiss, goat, natural cheddar, and brie. While these are lower-sodium options for cheese, they still include it, so limiting the quantity is important to keep in mind as well.
Ensuring your aging parent can enjoy a holiday meal and remain healthy is important. If you need any more tips or tricks to help you care for a loved one this holiday season, contact Next Day Access at any time.