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Enjoying Healthier Holiday Parties

healthy holiday food

Tips For Enjoying More Healthy Holiday Parties

Holiday season is usually a time for joyful celebrations with family and friends. Most holiday gatherings whether they be cocktail parties, cookie exchanges or traditional family meals often feature tables piled high with indulgent comfort foods, decadent sweets, and fancy cocktails.

When you are undergoing cancer treatments like chemotherapy or radiation, finding ways to enjoy holiday foods can present various challenges. For instance, you might not feel well and be afraid to indulge in anything too decadent. You might have an aversion to specific foods because of mouth sores or ever-changing taste buds. You can also have dietary restrictions for medical reasons.

Even if you have none of these issues, many people with cancer try hard to maintain strict dietary habits like avoiding sugar and alcohol or eliminating meat from their diet. Sticking to any healthy eating plan during the holidays can be the biggest challenge of all- for everyone!

At Rock the Treatment, we offer gift baskets for people getting cancer treatments that are filled with healthy and useful items that bring physical and emotional relief to the recipients. We understand the importance of treating the body right during chemo and radiation. Sending one of our healthy cancer gift baskets to someone you love is a great way to let them know you care during the holidays or any time of year.

If you are feeling well enough to attend holiday parties, you don’t want to miss out because you are stressed out about food. You should be able to enjoy yourself. Here, we have compiled a list of suggestions to help cancer patients (and anyone else with dietary concerns) make it through holiday parties without sacrificing fun.

Make sure you have options-

This is easy if you are hosting and you have all the control! But, if you are attending an event at someone else’s home, you can ensure there are choices for you by offering to bring food you enjoy.

For healthy options, you can offer to bring a fruit platter, veggie platter or salad.

If after chemo you are only comfortable eating bland food, offer to bring a dish of whatever that means- rice, mashed potatoes, little sandwiches, pasta, or crunchy snacks.

It will bring you comfort to know that you will have something to eat that will not cause you to worry or feel guilty!

Eat before you go-

If you are concerned about healthy or other appropriate food options at the party, eat before you go. If you can, eat a small meal that will keep you satiated in case you don’t have appealing choices.

Avoid processed foods-

It isn’t a holiday party without processed meats and cheeses! Consider skipping the cheese, crackers, and charcuterie boards and seeking out other options. Look for healthier snacks that often accompany processed food platters like nuts, hummus, veggies marinated in olive oil, and fruits. Stick to those as much as possible.

Limit sugar-

Limiting sugar is always a good idea. Doing so at a holiday party can be tricky, especially a cookie exchange party! Try to eat sweets in moderation and avoid sugary drinks. If you do indulge in a taste, do so mindfully so you enjoy it to the fullest!

Avoid or limit alcoholic drinks-

If you are undergoing treatment for cancer, check with your doctor to find out if you are allowed to have alcohol. You don’t want to put your health at risk. If you can or do drink alcohol, know your limits and avoid over-indulging.

There are plenty of ways to enjoy a festive drink with less alcohol or none at all. Plain or flavored club soda with a splash of juice (or wine, if you choose) and a twist of fruit can be just as satisfying as the real thing.

Eat slowly-

This is good advice for everyone, any time of year. Try to avoid filling up too quickly. Pick and choose your foods carefully. Take time between trips to the buffet table to make sure you are digesting properly and feeling good about your choices.

When you have cancer, it is important to enjoy the holidays with family and friends as much as possible. But, this can mean different things to different people. Whether you are home on the couch with your best friend or at a big family party – doing what makes you comfortable and happy can help keep you emotionally and physically healthy during the holiday season and beyond.

Send a Helpful Cancer Gift Basket

If someone you love has cancer, send them a helpful cancer gift basket from Rock The Treatment. Chemotherapy and radiation gift baskets are packed with the essentials needed to ease side effects of treatment, as well as enhance physical and mental well-being. See all of our cancer care packages and find the one that best supports their journey. 

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