Healthy Holiday Parties: Tips for Cancer Patients

Candy canes and cookies on a holiday themed background

One of the best things about the holiday season is celebrating with friends and family while enjoying a smorgasbord of festive treats. But for cancer patients, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is critically important. The traditional foods you enjoy this time of year are usually discouraged during treatment – alcohol, sugar, processed foods, etc.

However, there is no need to toss your social calendar. With a few tips and a little effort, you can maintain your healthy lifestyle in the midst of all the yummy holiday temptations. There are several ways to stay on track without sacrificing the fun. Here are a few tricks:

  • Ensure there are healthy options at the party by offering to bring a veggie platter or fruit salad.
  • Eat before you leave the house; try a snack with some fiber and protein just in case there aren't many healthy choices available.
  • Start slow and take small portions so you don't get that overfull feeling.
  • Ask your doctor if it’s ok for you to drink alcohol before any holiday celebration. If alcohol is off limits, try some sparkling grape juice or club soda with a twist of lime to maintain a festive feel.
  • Skip the cheese dips and processed meats and look for alternatives like hummus or mixed nuts.
  • Limit your sugar intake but don’t deprive yourself. It’s all about portion control.
  • Try to eat mindfully. Pay attention to your hunger cues and only eat if you are actually hungry.