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6 Nutritious Thanksgiving Dishes for Aging Adults

According to research done by the Calorie Control Council, the average American consumes more than 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat on Thanksgiving day. Not only are the extra calories and fat not good for your senior loved one’s health, the additional sodium and carbohydrates could be dangerous if he or she has diabetes or poor cardiovascular health. This Thanksgiving, help your loved one stay healthy by serving the following dishes.

1. Roasted Chickpeas Appetizer

Of those 4,500 calories that many Americans eat on Thanksgiving, approximately 1,500 come from snacks, appetizers, and drinks before the big meal. Starting the day right with healthy appetizer choices can help your loved one save calories. Instead of chips and dip or salty nuts, try serving roasted chickpeas. Drain a can of chickpeas and toss them with a light drizzle of olive oil and sea salt. Roast until they are golden brown. Serve them alongside fresh vegetables for a boost of fiber that can help your loved one stay full and keep his or her blood sugar levels stable.

Switching to a healthy diet is one of the many ways your loved one can maintain a high quality of life. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Sacramento, CA, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

2. Cranberry Orange Salad

Cranberry jelly adds a sweet side to the traditional savory Thanksgiving dishes, but the amount of sugar and processing in canned cranberry dishes negates any of the nutrition. Swapping out the processed variety for a homemade cranberry orange salad, which is high in both vitamin C, can boost your loved one’s immune system.

3. Roasted Green Beans

Instead of covering green beans in sodium-packed cream of mushroom soup and fried onions, try roasting them. Toss the fresh green beans with heart-healthy olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt, then roast them in the oven until they are light brown. Green beans are a good source of iron, which is responsible for transporting oxygen around the body.

4. Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are much better for diabetics than traditional white potatoes. Instead of covering the sweet potatoes in a sugary glaze and marshmallows, swap them out in your favorite mashed potatoes recipe for a healthy, unique twist on potatoes. Sweet potatoes are lower on the glycemic index, which means they won’t cause blood sugar levels to rapidly spike.

5. Healthy Homemade Stuffing

Traditional store-bought stuffing lacks nutrition and is extremely high in sodium, which can cause blood pressure levels to spike. Making a homemade version allows you to control the salt levels. Toast whole-wheat bread cubes in the oven and toss them together with sautéed diced onion, chopped apples, heart-healthy walnuts, and low-sodium chicken broth. Include herbs and spices such as parsley and thyme to add flavor without adding sodium.

Seniors who need help preparing nutritious meals can benefit from professional in-home care. For many seniors in Sacramento, California, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness.

6. Crustless Pumpkin Pie

Without the carbohydrate and fat-filled crust, pumpkin pie is a fairly healthy dessert. One cup of raw pumpkin can keep your loved one’s eyes, skeletal tissue, teeth, and skin healthy. Bake the pumpkin pie in a greased pie dish without the crust for a healthy finish to the big meal.

Encouraging your senior loved one to switch to a healthy diet may pose a few challenges. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Sacramento, CA, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. To learn about our high-quality in-home care plans, call us at 916.706.0169 today.