Holiday parties with family and friends can be a highlight of the holiday season. Dieting during the holidays is no fun! Many people throw their diets out the window during the holiday season and attempt to “start over” in the new year. But for people with kidney disease, this can be a dangerous decision. To keep yourself, or your loved one, healthy this holiday season, follow the tips below.
Watch the Salt
Avoid packaged/prepared foods because they contain a TON of sodium. Make it from scratch instead! Cooking or baking with family are great ways to enjoy time together and pass down family traditions and recipes. Find ways to spice up your meals without salt.
Mix Exercise and Festivities
Incorporate games that promote fitness into your holiday parties to offset the extra calories. For example, indoor activities like Twister, hula hoop contests and dancing can all be fun for the whole crowd, especially when fast music sets the pace. Or, try to participate in winter sports and cold weather activities, such as ice-skating, skiing or building a snowman. These fun activities don’t require food to make your holidays special and as a bonus, you’ll get some exercise without even trying!
Focus on Fancy Fruit Treats, Not Cookies
For a healthy treat that everyone will enjoy, cut fresh fruit into fun shapes, and serve the fruit on skewers. Grapes, strawberries, pineapple, and pears provide a range of fun colors for visual appeal. If you have to limit potassium in your diet, find fruits that contain low to medium levels of potassium.
Use a Smaller Plate
Go ahead and eat that special casserole your aunt made with love. Have one of your mom’s homemade dinner rolls. Enjoy the taste and savor the flavor. Just be aware of the amount you consume. To help avoid overeating, dietitians recommend using a smaller plate. This allows you to put less food on your plate and encourages proper portion sizes.
Contact Your Dietitian Before the Holidays
Before the holiday season is in full force, invest the time to ask your dietitian for suggestions of holiday foods that you can enjoy while following your kidney-diet. Your dietitian may be able to help you “make over” some of your favorite recipes in order to adapt them to your specific dietary needs so you don’t feel left out at the holiday dinner. We wish you and your loved ones a happy and HEALTHY holiday season!