Christmas parties and dinners often feature food that is full of calories, fat, sugar and salt, which can negatively impact your senior loved one’s health. However, healthy eating doesn’t mean you have to serve flavorless food. Try these six Christmas dishes that can keep your loved one healthy and make the holidays special.
1. Pork Tenderloin
Many families traditionally serve ham for Christmas, but the excess salt in the meat can be unhealthy for your loved one if he or she has high blood pressure or heart issues. Serve roasted pork tenderloin with herbs and spices to add flavor without a lot of sodium. A 4-ounce serving provides 23 grams of protein, which is essential for strong muscles.
If your loved one needs help preparing nutritious meals or making healthy lifestyle choices that promote longevity, consider hiring a professional caregiver. In Oklahoma City, home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
2. Whole Wheat Rolls
Instead of white rolls, try serving whole wheat rolls as a bread this Christmas. The American Heart Association recommends eating whole grains for good heart health. Whole wheat contains fiber, vitamin B, and iron. The extra fiber in whole wheat rolls can help your loved one stay fuller for longer.
3. Hasselback Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a healthful choice if your loved one has diabetes. Sweet potatoes are lower on the glycemic index, which means they will have a less of an effect on your loved one’s blood sugar levels. Try taking ordinary sweet potatoes to a new level this Christmas by making Hasselback sweet potatoes. Thinly slice a sweet potato in 1/4-inch slices almost the entire way through the potato, leaving the bottom intact. Brush the potato with heart-healthy olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt, then roast until tender.
Make sure your loved one has support to maintain a nutritious diet by hiring a professional caregiver. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Oklahoma City Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks.
4. Roasted Brussels Sprouts
For a long time, Brussels sprouts had a bad reputation. However, when roasted properly, they take on a nutty, caramelized flavor. Toss the Brussels sprouts with olive oil and sea salt, roast until light brown, then drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Brussels sprouts are members of the cruciferous family. They contain potent antioxidants, which can protect your loved one’s cells from oxidative stress.
5. Festive Fruit Salad
Give your loved one’s immune system a boost during the cold and flu season by serving a festive fruit salad for Christmas. Citrus fruit is high in vitamin C, which strengthens the immune system. Combine peeled and sectioned oranges with diced apples, sliced kiwi, grapes, and chunks of pineapple. Add a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds for a nice crunch, color, and nutrition.
6. Hot Chocolate Bar
Instead of fat and carbohydrate-laden desserts, try serving up a hot chocolate bar instead. Homemade hot chocolate provides calcium and antioxidants that can keep your loved one’s bones healthy, and it can also reduce arthritic pain. Serve the hot chocolate with a choice of toppings such as whipped cream, marshmallows, crushed candy canes, and sprinkles.
Preparing nutritious meals for seniors can be a challenging task, especially if their family caregivers have other important matters to tend to. Family caregivers sometimes need a break from their caregiving responsibilities. When they need respite care, Oklahoma City families can rely on professional caregivers to help their senior loved ones remain safe at home. To learn about our premier home care plans, give Home Care Assistance a call at 405-285-4191 today.