Christmas is the time of year when families carry on many traditions, including attending holiday functions, purchasing gifts, and eating holiday-themed meals. It is important for your elderly loved one to eat meals that are nutritious instead of entrées that put his or health at risk. Take a look at some healthy meals traditionally served for the holiday and how they can benefit seniors.
1. Turkey and Stuffing
Turkey is a good source of poultry that provides aging adults with the amino acid tryptophan, which produces serotonin. Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter in the body that plays a significant role in strengthening a senior’s immune system. For the stuffing, your loved one can eat gluten-free cornbread that lowers his or her calorie intake.
Professionally trained caregivers can cook nutritious meals, go grocery shopping, and assist with a wide variety of daily tasks. Although it may be challenging to find a reliable, highly rated home care agency, Centennial, CO, families can turn to Home Care Assistance. Our respite and live-in caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with a wide array of important tasks, including cooking, bathing, light housekeeping, and exercise.
2. Lemon-Stuffed Salmon and Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes
This traditional holiday meal provides seniors with the omega-3 fatty acids they need to stave off dementia, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and other serious conditions. Make sure to stuff the salmon with gluten-free stuffing. Instead of serving regular potatoes with this meal, swap them with sweet potatoes. The twice-baked sweet potatoes are an excellent source of fiber, which can increase your loved one’s bone strength and density.
3. Roast Beef and Vegetables
Roast beef contains plenty of protein, iron, vitamin B12, and other minerals that are beneficial for seniors. This holiday meal is low in fat, which can prevent clogged arteries and reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. To help your loved one get full without consuming too much roast beef, make sure he or she eats the vegetables. The healthiest fresh veggies to add to this meal include:
- Sweet potatoes
- Green beans
4. Ham and Greens
This meal provides protein, iron, magnesium, and amino acids, which can boost your loved one’s physical, mental, and emotional health. Look for ham that is low in fat, sodium, and nitrates. Ham is a traditional holiday choice, but your loved one should not make a habit of eating it on a regular basis. Greens are a good side dish to serve with the ham because eating plant-based foods can reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.
Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality non-medical home care. Centennial families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.
5. Veggie Shepherd’s Pie and Black Rice with Corn and Cranberries
If your loved one is a vegetarian, this is a good Christmas meal choice. Veggie shepherd’s pie is low in calories and fat. The black rice, corn, and cranberries provide high levels of antioxidants that fight against free radicals. The antioxidants from this side dish can help seniors increase their eye, skin, and immune system health. Instead of using salt to make this meal, family caregivers should cook the entrée using garlic, ginger, and onion powder to promote digestion and protect against neurological disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
6. Roasted Chicken and Cauliflower Casserole
Roasted chicken is full of protein and minerals that help seniors build their muscles and lower the risk of falling. The cauliflower casserole can help aging adults boost their heart health, fight against cancer, and reduce the risk of inflammation. By eating this easy-to-digest meal on Christmas, your loved one can protect his or her body from everyday pollutants that speed up the aging process.
Don’t let your aging loved one’s healthy eating habits end after Christmas. Make sure he or she has support to maintain a healthy diet by hiring a professional caregiver. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Centennial 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. To learn about our professional in-home care services and how they can benefit your aging loved one, call us at 303.957.3100 today.