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Having A Healthy Christmas Lunch

Age Space partner, The Brighton & Hove Food Partnership, have some great advice for you about how to stay healthy at Christmas. 

Christmas is a fun filled day to be enjoyed with family and friends. We often associate Christmas with lots of great food and alcohol and the temptation for healthy habits to slide is both alive and alluring. So, here are some hints and tips to help you and your elderly relative stay healthy during the festive period.

Breakfast

Start your day right with a healthy and nutritious breakfast to fill you up so you are less likely to snack excessively during the morning.

Festive breakfast ideas include:

  • Cinnamon porridge with stewed fruit
  • Christmas fruit salad made with orange, grapefruit and pomegranate served with Greek yoghurt
  • Banana, pecan and coconut overnight oats.
  • Poached eggs with smoked salmon and spinach on wholemeal toast.
  • Scrambled eggs with grilled bacon with wholegrain toast
christmas 3022876 960 720Stay hydrated

During the winter it is hard to tell when your body is dehydrated. Mild headaches, fatigue, exhaustion and dizziness are symptoms of dehydration. It is important to stay hydrated throughout the festive period and to drink 1.5-2 litres of water a day (6-8 glasses).

Hint: To increase your water intake you can set daily mini goals, drink hot water, carry a water bottle with you, infuse it with limes, lemons, berries, cucumber or opt for herbal teas.

Christmas dinner tips

Christmas dinner is a festive feast that we look forward to all year round. During Christmas dinner, eat a normal-sized meal, and take your time to eat it. After a 20-minute break check in with your hunger cues, see if you are still hungry. If you are, then help yourself to more.

A great Christmas dinner could include:

  • 2-3 slices of Roast turkey/chicken/beef/lamb
  • 2-3 roast potatoes (A palm size portion)
  • Plenty of vegetables including roasted carrots, parsnips, brussels sprouts and any other steamed vegetables you may eat for Christmas dinner. Make the veggie dishes more interesting by adding the following:
    • Add feta and slivered almonds to green beans
    • Sauté spinach in crushed garlic and chilli flakes
    • Roast some cauliflower
    • Add chopped bacon and chestnuts to brussels sprouts
    • Make spicy red cabbage
  • A small portion of stuffing and pigs in blankets- try an alternative of a vegetarian stuffing instead of a pork stuffing.
  • A serving of gravy

Hint: Christmas pudding, Christmas cake and mince pies are all very high in added sugar. If you fancy some at the end of the meal, have a smaller portion to start with and take your time to enjoy the taste! Alternative desserts include poached fruit, fruit salad, cheese and crackers and mini mince pies or stollen bites.

Alcohol consumption

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It’s Christmas, so no doubt many of us will be enjoying a drink (or three!) however do try and keep in mind some of the better options of alcoholic drinks to choose from:

  • If white wine is your drink, consider getting a big bottle of sparkling water with it. Use that glass of wine as a cordial, pouring some into your water glass, and topping the glass up to the brim with the water each time. I think you could get 3-4 drinks out of that one glass of wine!
  • Don’t like a spritzer? What about having a small wine, followed by 1-2 glasses of water : ) This way you will slow the rate of alcohol you take in and hydrate yourself as you go!
  • On that note, always make sure you are fully hydrated before you start drinking. It’s really easy to over drink alcohol just because you are thirsty!
  • Are you more of a G&T person? What about exchanging the tonic for soda and fresh lime wedges? Surprisingly tasty once you get used to it! And even though you are drinking alcohol, at least you are not topping it up with sugar!

Non-alcoholic drinks tend to be very high in sugar. Less sugary non-alcoholic drinks include:

  • Still/sparkling water/soda water/slimline tonic water infused with fresh limes, lemons, cucumber and berries.
  • Sparkling water with no added sugar squash.

Hint: A reminder that the public health guidelines on alcohol suggest limiting your consumption to 14 units per week.

What next?

If you want to 2019 to be a healthier year, for you and your elderly relative, why not try one of our upcoming cookery & nutrition classes:

If you’d like to find out more about healthy eating, please visit The Brighton & Hove Food Partnership at http://bhfood.org.uk/

brighton hove food partnership logo