If you're an in-home caregiver who lives in the home of a senior citizens to provide services designed to help that person retain an independent lifestyle, you're probably responsible for the majority of the food preparation tasks. You're undoubtedly up on the latest information on nutrition for seniors as well as cognizant of the dietary restrictions and individual preferences of your particular senior. However, you may also be aware that many seniors experience a loss of appetite as seasonal temperatures rise. Fortunately, there are traditional summer foods that provide nutritious and delicious ways to tempt reluctant eaters. Following are four seasonal foods and beverages that you should consider putting on your senior's plate this summer.
Many people are surprised when they discover that watermelon is packed with nutrition. Watermelon is abundant in vitamins A, B6, and C, lycopene, antioxidants, and amino acids. As an added bonus watermelon is about 90 percent water, which helps keep seniors properly hydrated, which can be especially challenging during the summer.
The health benefits of green, black, and white tea are widely known, but many people don't realize that this translates to iced tea as well. Tea is high in free radicals that help boost flailing immune systems and guard against cardiovascular issues. However, it's important not to let sugar or other sweeteners counteract the health benefits of ice tea. Fresh herbs such as mint or fresh chunks of sweet peaches, plums, apples, berries, or cherries provide added flavor without the harmful effects of sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Made primarily from cabbage and carrots, coleslaw is a warm season favorite that makes a regular appearance at picnics, backyard barbecues, and community potlucks. It's also deliciously cold and hits just the right spot on a warm summer day -- but make sure it's not allowed to sit out for very long, particularly in an outdoor location where it can be warmed very quickly be the sun, which will cause the mayonnaise to go bad. Add some chopped apple pieces for added crunch, flavor, and nutrition.
Summer is also the season for enjoying fresh fish such as wild salmon, cod, and halibut. These excellent sources of protein are high in heart-healthy omega-3 acids, vitamin D, calcium, and essential B vitamins. Certain kinds of fish, such as wild salmon, are also high in vitamin A. Fish is also naturally low in fat.