Spring is in full bloom—flowers are budding, bees are buzzing, and gardens are full of fresh vegetables awaiting their debut! One of the most exciting things about Spring is the anticipation of the bounty of fresh, healthy food that can be grown and enjoyed. With the days getting warmer, preparing light, nutritious meals that don’t require much preparation is a must.
Tender baby lettuces, spinach, radishes, zucchini, strawberries, and lots of fresh herbs are some of the season’s first crops, and they can be transformed into a variety of delicious, seasonal recipes. Vegetables can be eaten alone, grilled, or as part of a casserole, whereas herbs can give ordinary dishes a vibrant boost or be blended to make a robust pesto full of flavor. Cooking can be very rewarding and fulfilling. For that reason, seniors who assist with preparing their meals are more likely to eat them!
Whether you’re looking for recipes suitable for a light lunch or an easy-to-prepare, hearty dinner, these recipes will entice your palate.
Healthy Eating Habits for Seniors
Seniors should eat at least three meals per day and include healthy snacks between meals to maintain a balanced diet. Meals should consist of lean protein, vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and dairy as long as dietary restrictions don’t otherwise dictate.
Salads and casseroles are an excellent way to combine foods from each food group and ensure that you receive the nutrients your body needs. In contrast, foods high in sodium, sugar, and fat should be limited as regularly eating large servings of these foods can have adverse effects and make you feel too full to enjoy healthier options.
Caregivers can encourage their clients to eat healthier meals by allowing them to either prepare some of their own meals or assist them in preparing healthy meals.
Food has had a long history of being the center of celebrations and happy times. For that reason, preparing and enjoying meals together can stir fond memories and lift your client’s mood. Cooking can also be very therapeutic. The steps involved in preparing basic recipes can help trigger memory, strengthen hand muscles, increase confidence and reduce stress.
Luckily, a lot of the prep work involved in cooking can be performed from a seated position, which is ideal for aging adults. Caregivers can also check specialty cooking stores for ergonomic cooking gadgets to make chopping, cutting, mixing, and gripping easier for clients.
Easy Healthy Recipes
1. Strawberry-Spinach Salad
Enjoy this salad with a whole grain roll or crackers, for a complete meal. It combines foods from each of the five food groups and includes:
- Feta cheese
2. Lemon Pesto Pasta Primavera with Spring Vegetables
Homemade pesto takes ordinary pasta to extraordinary in a matter of minutes! Toss your favorite pasta and whatever spring vegetables you have on hand with this bright, citrusy pesto for the perfect spring meal. Throw these simple ingredients in a blender and pulse for a few minutes for easy, delicious pesto:
- Fresh basil
- Lemon juice, lemon zest
- Pine nuts
- Olive oil
3. Grilled Pizza
Break out the grill and enjoy restaurant-quality grilled pizza at home. Many people underestimate just how easy it is to make grilled pizza—no brick oven required. To make this recipe, brush store-bought pizza dough or naan bread with olive oil and lightly grill on both sides before adding your favorite sauce and toppings. Finish by closing the lid to allow the cheese to melt and the toppings to brown slightly. Here are a few examples of seasonal favorites to top your pizza…
Professional Home Care at Emerest
Maintaining a well-balanced, healthy eating habit can have a profound impact on one’s health. Enjoying regular, healthy meals can lower the risks of chronic diseases, improve mood and cognition, provide a healthy source of energy, and help maintain weight.
In addition, making just a few adjustments to make meals more nutritious and allowing clients to have a hand in planning and preparing meals can glean various benefits. Start today by preparing the recipes covered here and find new spring recipe ideas!
Emerest is a leading provider of professional caregiving services. We have amassed plentiful resources that our caregivers can access to serve their elderly clients better and improve their overall quality of life. If you are a senior in need of caregiving services and are interested in learning more about Emerest contact us today.