Even though some of the Thanksgiving dishes they grew up eating are no longer healthy for them, many seniors eagerly look forward to these holidays. Luckily, there are some alternatives to make sure that they don’t miss their favorite meals from the past on Thanksgiving.
As an alternative to turkey, serve salmon for your Thanksgiving dinner. Salmon is very healthy as they are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. There are multiple benefits to consuming omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 not only promotes heart health but also decreases the chances of developing depression and anxiety. It also helps seniors in fighting autoimmune diseases and inflammation.
A typical side dish every one serves for Thanksgiving is the seven-layer salad. However, the iceberg lettuce in it is rather low in nutritional value. You can make this dish healthier for the seniors by replacing it with a spinach salad topped with a light poppyseed dressing. Leafy vegetables are beneficial to protect your loved one’s brain against Alzheimer’s disease.
Every Thanksgiving table needs warm vegetables. One of the healthy choices you can have for this is roasted broccoli because it has a good amount of calcium. Having calcium-rich foods can help prevent your senior loved ones from developing weak bones and osteoporosis. If you want the dish to have some additional sources of calcium, top the broccoli dish with a dash of slivered almonds and a sprinkle of parmesan.
As per the Department of Health and Human Services, elderly seniors need at least 14 grams of dietary fiber per 1,000 calories consumed. Fiber helps seniors to maintain healthy digestion. To increase the fiber content in your Thanksgiving dishes, you can swap the traditional dinner rolls with fiber-rich alternatives such as rolls made from whole-wheat flour.
People, as they age, tend to consume more sugar. This is because their ability to taste sweets remains uncompromised even when their ability to sense other flavors fades. However, consuming too much sugar is unhealthy. So it's best to give naturally sweetened foods to satisfy the sweet craving of older people. Baked apples and fruit tarts are some of the best options because they taste rich without relying too much on sugar for flavor.
Also, make sure to see that your loved one’s healthy eating habits continue even after Thanksgiving. If necessary, don't hesitate to hire a professional caregiver who can give them the proper support to maintain a nutritious diet.