As a caregiver, it’s important to steer your senior loved one toward nutrient-rich food choices. But this doesn’t mean your loved one has to give up his or her penchant for some sweetness in his or her diet. In fact, seniors tend to respond better to diets that include a variety of foods. Fortunately, there are some nutritious and delicious ways to satisfy your loved one’s sweet tooth.
Try Delicious, Naturally Sweetened Smoothies
Smoothies can be delicious and healthy sweet treats if you include naturally sweet fruits, especially various types of berries, which are often rich in essential nutrients, including vitamins C and K, manganese, and a type of B vitamin called folate. Also, consider sweet-tasting smoothies made with nutritious additions such as:
• Nuts, nut butters, and seeds
• Bananas, which are an excellent source of potassium
• Greek yogurt or milk for added protein
Some seniors find it difficult to prepare nutritious meals and snacks because of health issues or mobility limitations. Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Denver seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.
Explore Your Options with Frozen Fruit Treats
Frozen fruit that’s sliced and diced the right way can be included in tasty sweet treats for your loved one. For example, strawberry-lemonade popsicles are made with naturally sweet strawberries mixed with lemonade and chilled in the freezer. Other fruit-based frozen treats your loved one may enjoy include:
• Frozen chocolate banana bites
• Blackberry Cabernet sorbet
• Ginger watermelon Italian ice
• Balsamic buttermilk sherbet served with fresh strawberries
• Blueberry creamsicles
Find Clever Ways to “Hide” the Nutrition
Even if a nutritious treat is sweet and tasty, your loved one may shy away from it if it doesn’t look appetizing. You may be able to avoid issues like this if you get creative with the sweet delights you offer your loved one. The idea is to search for recipes that include nutritious ingredients disguised in a way that still makes the sweet surprise appealing to the senses. Here are a few suggestions to consider:
• Two-ingredient cookies with a combination of nutritious ingredients (e.g., bananas and oats)
• Healthy cookie dough blizzards with frozen bananas acting as the “ice cream” base
• Roasted honey and cinnamon peaches served with Greek yogurt
• Black bean brownies
• Chocolate chip sweet potato cookies
A professional caregiver can be a terrific source of support for a senior who needs a hand with preparing sugar-free dishes and nutritious meals. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional in-home care. 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.
Adjust Favorite Sweet Recipes
If your loved one is a picky eater or isn’t open to trying new sweet treats with healthy twists, make a list of sweet foods you know he or she likes. Next, do some research to see if you can adjust or adapt the recipes to include more nutrient-rich ingredients. For instance, you might replace sugar and butter in an oatmeal cookie recipe with honey and applesauce.
Allow Occasional Indulgences
As the body ages, fat reserves that are needed for extra energy tend to be lost. For this reason, it’s perfectly fine to let your loved one satisfy his or her sweet tooth now and then with sweet favorites like ice cream and cupcakes, which are often preferred because they’re easy to chew and swallow. Just check with your loved one’s doctor to determine if there are any health-related restrictions you’ll need to keep in mind.
Limiting the consumption of sweets is part of an overall healthy lifestyle, and some seniors need help when it comes to managing nutrition. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior home care. Denver families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at (720) 443-3371 today.