Summer is here, which means families are heading out to the park, the lake, the beach, or even the backyard to enjoy a picnic. Bringing your senior loved one along is a great way to make him or her feel included in family festivities, alleviate loneliness, and boost emotional health. Include these delicious yet nutritious foods for seniors when you dine outside.
Watermelon should be at the top of your picnic food list for several reasons. It can keep your loved one hydrated, and it’s also packed with lycopene, which is good for heart and bone health and may prevent prostate cancer in older men. Studies have also shown eating watermelon can lower blood pressure in postmenopausal women.
Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Columbus in-home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help.
2. Grilled Chicken
Skip the burgers and hotdogs, and grill up some chicken for your senior loved one. Many seniors are deficient in protein, and consuming regular quantities of lean protein like chicken may resolve the issue. Protein is a must for strong muscles and a healthy immune system.
3. Green Salad
Make a healthy salad with plenty of leafy greens for your picnic. Kale, spinach, and other similar foods have been linked with slow cognitive decline in older adults. They may also help your loved one maintain his or her memory for a longer period.
Keep a bowl full of delicious berries on the blanket at your next picnic. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, and cherries are full of antioxidants that may keep Alzheimer’s disease at bay or slow its progression. They are also low in calories if your loved one wants to lose or maintain a healthy weight.
5. Deviled Eggs
If your loved one does not like meat, but you still want to incorporate more protein into his or her diet, bring some deviled eggs to the picnic. They are rich in protein and vitamin D, something most seniors are deficient in, as well as lutein, which is essential for good eye health. Make a healthier recipe by substituting Greek yogurt for mayo.
Since guacamole is made mostly of avocados, this dip offers seniors numerous health benefits. Guacamole is rich in potassium, which can reduce high blood pressure. It is also rich in iron, which is good for seniors who are anemic. Serve it with low-salt tortilla chips or celery sticks for more health benefits.
7. Cole Slaw
Cole slaw is a picnic staple, and eating it can boost your senior loved one’s health. Cabbage is rich in fiber, which can help with digestion. It is also packed with vitamin C for healthy bones and a healthy immune system as well as vitamin K, which is a must for healthy blood. Cabbage also contains antioxidants that may keep cancer at bay.
According to a recent study, antioxidants found in cabbage can protect brain cells against the damage caused by Alzheimer’s. If your elderly loved one is living with Alzheimer’s and needs help managing the symptoms, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Alzheimer’s care. Columbus seniors can rely on our revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program that helps slow cognitive decline and delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. CTM also encourages seniors to engage with others in an enjoyable way and helps them build new routines to look forward to.
If you want a little snack for your picnic, pop up some popcorn and bring it along. Just make sure your loved one has strong teeth to eat it. Popcorn provides fiber for good digestion and plenty of antioxidants.
As a family caregiver, you may not always have the time to prepare a healthy diet for your aging loved one. Caring for a senior loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming for family caregivers who have other responsibilities they need to focus on. For these families, the perfect solution is respite care. Columbus families rely on our caregivers whenever they need time to rest, work, run errands, and even go on vacation. To create a customized care plan for your senior loved one, call Home Care Assistance at (614) 481-8888 today.