Thanksgiving is traditionally celebrated with tasty meals shared by friends and family, but some Thanksgiving treats can be a little unhealthy. To keep seniors from missing out on all the holiday fun, it is important to include healthy foods in your Thanksgiving feast. Many traditional Thanksgiving treats can easily be a part of a healthy diet. Serve these six delicious and nutritious options at your next Thanksgiving meal.
1. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes get their bright orange color from carotenoids that protect against eyesight loss. Try roasting chunks of sweet potatoes with a light coating of maple syrup instead of making excessively sugary casseroles topped with marshmallows.
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2. Green Beans
Green beans are an ideal side dish for seniors at Thanksgiving as long as they are not canned. In addition to containing plenty of vitamin C and vitamin B, they are also a great source of heart-healthy fiber. Healthy serving options for green beans include steaming them, roasting them, or turning them into a fresh salad.
3. Pumpkin Bread
Make pumpkin bread to give seniors a taste of the holiday without serving them excess fat and sugar. As long as you include plenty of whole grains and pureed pumpkin, this bread can be a great way to increase a senior’s fiber levels. Pumpkin is loaded with vitamin A, and it also has plenty of vitamin C, iron, vitamin B, and potassium, so it is an ideal inclusion in a Thanksgiving meal.
4. Skinless Turkey
No Thanksgiving is complete without turkey, and it is also a great meal option for seniors at any time of the year. Eating turkey is a great way for seniors to get adequate protein without ingesting too much fat. The healthiest part of the bird will be the white meat served without the skin. Make a healthy gravy from chicken broth to add a little flavor to the turkey.
5. Collard Greens
Collard greens are a classic side dish at Southern Thanksgiving meals, and they are surprisingly healthy as long as you do not cook them with bacon fat. Collard greens have a lot of vitamin A, and they are also the perfect way to get more calcium in a senior’s diet. Including more calcium in a senior’s Thanksgiving meal can prevent bone density loss.
Seniors living with serious health conditions may need assistance with meal preparation and other daily tasks. In Cedar Falls, Iowa, home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.
These dark red berries are packed with powerful antioxidants in the form of vitamin C. The protective antioxidant compounds in cranberries can reduce inflammation, and they are also helpful for preventing urinary tract infections. Make sure to cook the cranberry sauce from fresh berries instead of just opening a can of processed sauce. Using fresh fruit cuts back on the sugar levels in the Thanksgiving meal.
A healthy diet can promote overall 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. Cedar Falls, Iowa, 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. If your senior loved one needs assistance with daily activities, call one of our professional Care Managers at 319-260-2222.