The temperatures rising,and it’s too hot to stay in the kitchen! Family caregivers may be searching for colorful, festive meals that will encourage proper nutrition for seniors.
When the temperature soars, appetites plummet! It’s even more important to encourage proper nutrition and hydration for our aging parents. These helpful hints offering refreshing alternatives to traditional meals while encouraging better eating:
1. Keep meals colorful.
Colorful berries, fruits and vegetables may encourage seniors to enjoy a wider variety of summer dishes. Blue berries, red strawberries and bright orange melons can be a difficult combination to pass up on a hot summer afternoon.
2. Choose foods rich in water.
Keeping hydrated is very difficult for seniors. Their craving for fluid is diminished, medications may cause mouth dryness, and lack of physical activity may make drinking water seem less important.
Melons, fruits and vegetables rich in water content are easy ways to introduce fluids in daily doses. Or, try a serving of colorful gelatin loaded with healthful goodies.
3. Offer finger foods.
A cube of cheese, wedge of apple or slice of summer squash are easy to handle while offering proteins and other nutrients in a quick, cool snack.
4. Slurp a smoothie.
A fruit-filled smoothie is a delicious and cooling way to offer much needed fruit and fluids on a sultry afternoon.
Offering a frozen treat is a great way to cool off while providing fluids. Who can turn down a favorite childhood treat?
5. Serve small samplings on a small, colorful dish.
Four or five small snacks may be easier to tackle than three large meals. A quick mid-morning snack may be better received than a heavy breakfast and large lunch. And, a light supper on a breezy deck or patio may tickle the taste buds.
6. Provide large-handle utensils and divider plates.
Managing difficult foods and hard-to-grasp utensils may make meal time frustrating. Consider offering more appropriate dinnerware that addresses the specific needs of your loved one.
7. Make meal time a treat.
Colorful dishware, a festive napkin and pretty place mat may help make a meal more appealing. Don’t forget to add a fresh cut bloom from the flower garden!
8. Visit the farmer’s market.
An early morning trip to the local farmer’s market may encourage better eating if the colorful selection of fruits, vegetables and other homemade products will tempt the taste buds.
Delicious Fruit Smoothie
1 cup hulled strawberries
1/2 banana, sliced
1 peach, sliced
1/2 cup favorite juice
1 cup crushed ice
Pulse in blender till desired consistency. Serve in chilled glass with a colorful straw!
For more summer time recipe ideas, visit USDA.org.