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From the Neighborhood Press

Healthy Fall Trick or Treats

Fall is in full swing here in Rio Rancho, and along with the season comes the cooler weather and delicious Holiday treats. It’s so easy to have a bowl of candies sitting out to grab and hot cocoa mix ready for you to mix with hot water and top with some whipped cream or peppermint sticks. But are there some healthier yet still tasty options? Seniors are often very active and busy with holiday events, writing Christmas cards and wrapping up gifts for loved ones. The daily schedule can fill up quickly especially if you live in a 55 plus community and participate in all the events, fitness classes and social activities your community has to offer. So having something on hand that’s something easy to eat on the go appeals. Here are some simple ideas to keep you nourished and happy as you tackle the upcoming holiday season. Talk to your doctor first and see if you have any dietary restrictions you need to follow.

Nuts. These little treats don’t have all the sugary carbs and can be quite filling. Some nuts are a little softer than others and there is a wide variety of nuts to choose from including roasted and dusted with sea salt or honey. You can buy them pre-shelled so it’s easy to grab a handful and enjoy.  If you love cracking nuts, you can always keep a bowl of whole nuts with a nutcracker on the coffee table! Something to enjoy while watching TV when you relax in the afternoon. Just make sure you aren’t allergic to nuts, and keep them away from any grandkids coming over who might have allergies!

Tangerines. These little fruits will fill your home with bright color and even give you the benefit of a little vitamin C. You can keep a fruit bowl on the counter for easy access. Pre-wash the tangerines or oranges before putting them out so they are ready to enjoy. They’re great to have on hand when you invite the neighbors from your retirement community over for tea as well!

Dark chocolates.

Chocolate bars comes in so many varieties. You can choose more nutritious options such as chocolate that has a higher cocoa percentage and ones that have less or no traditional sugar added. Some chocolate bars or even chocolate chips are made with sugar alternatives such as stevia. Check and see what your local grocery store offers or shop online to find some healthier options and keep your retirement home well stocked for the holidays!

Cranberry Granola. Do you love to wake up to a wonderful cup of coffee and a breakfast that’s healthy and easy to whip up? Cranberries are always a delight especially around Thanksgiving time. There’s something about these tart little berries that adds so much flavor and even some nutritional benefits to granola or trail mix. You can make a big batch of your own homemade granola to have on hand. There are recipes that are not too involving or complicated. You can also make an extra batch for easy and very useful gifts! Scoop the granola into colorful little bag, tie them with ribbons and you have a nice little gift.

If you have a family member or friend who lives in an assisted living or nursing home, you could consider giving them some healthy snack options as gifts this fall. Just be sure to find out if they have dietary restrictions, food allergies and sensitivities or preferences before you decide on what to get them! Food items, especially homemade treats, are heartwarming gifts any senior would enjoy.

It’s important to stay active and healthy during the cooler months. Making healthy treats and snack options readily available is a great way to avoid all the sugary candies, cakes and cookies that come with the Holidays. They’re also great to have around for unexpected guests dropping in and make easy gifts. Enjoy each day this fall and winter and be sure to surround yourself with healthy options as you enjoy your retirement!

2 responses to “Healthy Fall Trick or Treats

  1. Thank you for sharing about healthy snacks for seniors, it can be so difficult to find delicious, quick snacks, especially ones that don’t pull my teeth out 😉 I’ll be getting tangerines for my whole Rio Rancho community!

    1. Thank you for the great comment, Hank! Tangerines are the best. Enjoy the holidays!

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