Holiday Cooking Made Easy for Caregivers

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Written by: Stephanie Gladman, Registered Dietitian & Geremy Capone, Wellness Chef at ELLICSR Kitchen

The holiday season is here! For many people this means meal planning, shopping, baking and entertaining. It’s a fun time to share food and memories with family and friends. But, on top of being a caregiver these tasks can sometimes seem overwhelming. Try these cooking and nutrition tips to help make the holidays easier to manage, and even allow yourself to enjoy the seasonal fun with your loved ones:

  • Buy pre-prepared ingredients. Use frozen vegetables or fruit. They’re washed, cut, and ready to be used in your favourite soups, casseroles, and desserts. Remember that frozen is just as nutritious as fresh!
  • Eat snacks during the day. Manage your energy levels with healthy snacks. Try this Roasted Chestnut & Rosemary Trail Mix from for a festive option. Enjoy this trail mix in between meals or serve to guests while celebrating. 
  • Cook in batches. Save time by cooking more food in advance and storing it in the freezer. For example, double your meatball recipe or prepare an extra tray of latkes. This way you can enjoy more time with your loved ones and spend less energy in the kitchen.
  • Practice food safety. Wash your ingredients, surfaces, tools and hands well. Avoid cross contamination by separating your raw meats from prepared foods, vegetables and fruit. Cook all meats to their food safe internal temperature.  And don’t leave foods out at room temperature for more than two hours.

For more information on food safety, pick up a copy of "Food Safety for Patients with Weakened Immune Systems" (PDF) at the Princess Margaret Patient and Family Library.

  • Keep food smells to a minimum. Some people may be sensitive to food smells in the house like fish, cabbage or garlic. Reduce smells by cooking with a window open or baking in a parchment paper package, or known in French cuisine as en papilotte.
  • Take care of yourself. Taking care of yourself first allows you to do a better job of taking care of others. To feel your best, take time to eat well, exercise, relax, and enjoy the holiday festivities.   

If you would like to speak to a Registered Dietitian, ask a member of your healthcare team.