For some seniors, the prospect of dessert is more appealing than the actual meal itself. If this sounds like your elderly loved one, you may be concerned he or she isn’t eating as healthily as possible. However, there are many sweet and tasty treats you can make right at home that are packed with health benefits. Here are a few you may want to make for your loved one.
1. Pumpkin Pie
Homemade pumpkin pie can be enjoyed any time of the year, not just during the holidays. One slice has 249 percent of a senior’s daily vitamin A needs. Vitamin A can speed up the healing of wounds and prevent macular degeneration. Pumpkin pie is also a good source of calcium and iron, which can keep the bones strong.
Managing all the aspects of a senior’s health, including diet, can be challenging for a family caregiver. If you’re the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality senior care, Home Care can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.
2. Dark Chocolate–Covered Strawberries
Containing flavanols with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, dark chocolate is an indulgent treat with many health benefits. A study conducted by professors at San Diego State University showed participants who ate dark chocolate had lower blood sugar and healthier cholesterol levels than those who ate white chocolate. A serving of strawberries provides 149 percent of a senior’s daily recommended value of vitamin C, which can strengthen the immune system. Combined, dark chocolate and strawberries offer a healthy dose of antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber.
3. Frozen Yogurt
Though store-bought frozen yogurt often packs in too many calories and too little nutrition, a homemade version with fresh fruit and Greek yogurt makes it a delicious dessert full of protein and vitamins. Each serving of Greek yogurt contains 12 grams of protein, which can help your loved one build muscle, aid in tissue repair, and boost his or her immune system. Depending on the type of fruit added to the frozen yogurt, your loved one might get an additional helping of vitamins and fiber.
4. Fruit Popsicles
Nothing’s better than a cold treat on a warm day, but aging adults need to stay away from ice cream cones and other processed sweets. A single scoop of ice cream can contain 22 grams of sugar, 250 calories, and 10 grams of saturated fat. On the other hand, fruit popsicles can be prepared with just a handful of nutritious ingredients, including sliced fruit, Greek yogurt, and protein powder.
5. Whole-Wheat Banana Bread
A favorite banana bread recipe can turn into a healthy, fiber-filled treat by switching out regular flour for whole wheat flour. Whole wheat is a great source of vitamins B1 and B3, folic acid, and iron. One slice of whole-wheat banana bread contains three grams of soluble fiber, which aids in digestion.
6. Granola Bars
Many of the granola bars sold in grocery stores are little more than candy bars, but you can make a much healthier alternative at home. Homemade granola bars can be made with a wide variety of nutritious ingredients, including seeds, nuts, rice cereal, and other whole grains. Adding in a few teaspoons of maple syrup before you bake the bars gives them a natural bit of sweetness your parent will love.
Because of decreased immunity and other health concerns, seniors should eat nutritious foods to maintain optimal health. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care. Harrisburg families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. Call Home Care today at (717) 540-4663 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.