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Many families get together for picnics during the summer. However, family members should keep in mind the health of older loved ones when choosing the menu. High-fat foods lead to weight gain while contributing to high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Cold luncheon meats and certain types of raw seafood harbor bacteria, which could make seniors ill due to their weakened immune systems. Instead, serve the following foods to make picnics a healthier experience for your senior loved one.
1. Veggies and Dip
Bring a mix of crisp, raw vegetables, which may include carrot sticks, celery, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and radishes. Dipping options might include fat-free bean dip, hummus, salsa, or seasoned low-fat yogurt.
Seniors may need assistance with attending outdoor picnics or managing daily tasks, and they can benefit from professional in-home care. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable senior care at home. Albuquerque, NM, families trust in Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.
2. Turkey Burgers
A three-ounce beef patty contains approximately 250 calories and 17 grams of fat. Ground turkey is a good alternative protein source. Using half the bun saves another 60 calories. For toppings, consider bean and corn salsa, grilled mushrooms, or roasted peppers instead of fat-laden cheese.
3. Roast Chicken
Instead of fried chicken, serve a roasted chicken. Many grocery store deli sections feature fully cooked birds, which makes the option more convenient than cooking. Three ounces of skinned chicken contains only 120 calories. The meat is also easily deboned, which makes it easy to serve. Simply use whole-wheat pitas stuffed with the chicken and salsa.
When planning a picnic, you may need respite from your caregiving duties to cook healthy food. For many seniors in Albuquerque, NM, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness
Salads are another all-time picnic favorite. However, traditional dressings, bacon bits, and croutons add calories and fat. If salad dressings are a must, choose low or non-fat varieties. Create a salad using greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, and other fresh vegetables. You can also add cooked chicken or beans for protein.
5. Coleslaw Alternative
The mayonnaise in coleslaw is loaded with unhealthy fat. Consider shredding and combining fresh broccoli stalks and carrots. Toss the mixture with low-fat poppy seed dressing, low-fat yogurt dressing, or a vinaigrette.
6. Fruit Kabobs
Sweet but healthy desserts are easily made using fresh fruits. Consider stacking apples, bananas, peaches, pineapples, strawberries, and melon chunks on skewers for a colorful and refreshing treat. You can also drizzle melted heart-healthy dark chocolate over the kabobs or serve it as a dipping sauce.
7. Angel Food Cake
Fat and sugar loaded brownies, cookies, and cupcakes are unhealthy dessert options. Angel food cake is a healthier alternative. Top cake slices with fresh fruit and a dollop of fat-free whipped topping.
8. Healthy Beverages
During summer seniors should hydrate frequently. Instead of soda or fruit juice, consider ice water, unsweetened green tea, or water or tea flavored with slices of fresh fruit. Fill bottles the night before the festivities and freeze. This way, they act as cold packs to keep other foods fresh in the cooler along with providing a refreshing drink when thawed.
Picnics are a great way to get seniors out of the house for some socialization. If your senior loved one needs assistance during picnics and other activities, consider hiring a caregiver. For families living in Albuquerque, NM, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home. To learn about our high-quality senior care plans, give us a call at 505-798-0800 today.