The home care Westfield seniors appreciate isn’t just limited to helping them accomplish daily tasks. Paying close attention to the food your elderly loved one eats is also important. Around the holidays, the opportunity to feast on a variety of treats arises, yet many of these aren’t as healthy as they could be. Consider these healthier alternatives, full of ingredients that may even help boost your loved one’s health.
Baked pears are easy to make and quick to prepare, and they contain many nutrients that are beneficial for senior health. Pears are high in fiber and B2 vitamins, and they’re one of the richest sources of flavonols, which have been proven to reduce arterial plaque and lower bad cholesterol. Leaving the skin on the pears nearly doubles the fiber and flavonol content of the fruit.
Pumpkin Pie and Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin pie made with real, fresh pumpkin is packed with vitamin A and soluble fiber, which makes it a healthy dessert choice for your loved one. Vitamin A is vital for healthy eyesight, and it helps maintain skin and bone health as well. Don’t forget to roast the seeds. Pumpkin seeds are high in phytoestrogens, which help lower blood pressure, and the antioxidant beta-carotene, which can help prevent cancer.
Raw nuts are a holiday standard, and few snacks can be healthier for your loved one. Raw walnuts in particular contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important to brain function. Walnuts have also been proven to assist with lowering LDL cholesterol, an important step in controlling heart disease.
Oatmeal and Cranberry Cookies
Cookies are abundant during the holidays. The ideal cookie to help promote your loved one’s health is an oatmeal and cranberry cookie made with whole-wheat flour. Oatmeal is high in calcium, which can help prevent bone loss. Cranberries are full of phytonutrients, which have anti-inflammatory properties that reduce arthritis symptoms. Whole-wheat flour is higher in fiber than enriched flour, making it healthier for the senior gastrointestinal system.
Miniature fruit tarts can be an excellent holiday treat for seniors. A small baked tart shell can be filled with fresh strawberries and blueberries, which are high in cancer-fighting antioxidants. If your loved one has diabetes, sprinkle cinnamon on top to help stabilize his or her blood sugar.
Though keeping your loved one healthy through the holiday season is important, a healthy diet should be maintained all year long. A caregiver from Home Care Assistance can help your loved one with grocery shopping and preparing nutritious meals. If your loved one has more extensive care needs, our caregivers are also trained in specialized Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and post-stroke care in Westfield. For more information on our senior care services, call one of our friendly Care Managers at 908.450.9400 to schedule a free consultation.