The summer heat can reduce appetites and make it difficult to cook meals. Certainly no one wants to turn on the oven and heat up the house. Yet, it is essential that seniors eat throughout the day to maintain good nutrition and hydration. Here are some easy summer dishes that can be eaten any time of day, don’t require cooking and are power packed with important nutrients and protein.
If it’s hot outside, these dishes are easy to make and eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Top a cup of yogurt, regular or Greek-style (Greek yogurt has more protein) with eight sliced almonds and one cup of your loved one’s favorite fruit. Berries work nicely but so do sliced bananas, mangoes, pineapple, apples, grapes or oranges.
These are great for the summer because they can be made with a combination of any fresh ingredients. A basic smoothie is made as follows:
- ¾ cup milk – 2%, whole, almond, coconut or soy milk
- 6 ounces of yogurt – plain or Greek style
- ½ banana
- 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
- 4 or 5 ice cubes
Blend them together until smooth. You can also add fresh or frozen strawberries, blueberries, mango or any other summer fruit your loved one enjoys.
Healthy Turkey Sandwich
Turkey is a great lean source of protein. When whole wheat bread is used, this becomes a healthy, hearty meal that doesn’t require cooking. Top 1 slice whole wheat bread with mustard. Add turkey breast slices, romaine lettuce, a slice of tomato and a slice of red onion. Eat with strawberries or orange slices on the side.
If you want to get creative, you can use the sandwich as an opportunity to get more vegetables into your loved one’s diet by adding thinly sliced cucumbers, red or green peppers.
A Snacking Meal
That may sound counterintuitive but a plate of healthy snack foods can be a great meal during the hot summer months. Consider putting these foods on a plate for lunch or dinner:
- Almond butter or applesauce and baby carrots
- Freshly cut fruit
- Low fat cheese sticks and whole wheat crackers
- A small dish of whole wheat cereal and milk
Spinach, Strawberry and Kiwi Salad
This salad is made of three of the Super Foods that are packed with minerals, nutrients and antioxidants that fight cancer causing cells in the body. It’s also easy to make and doesn’t require any cooking.
Cut or tear any type of fresh spinach into bite size pieces. Slice strawberries and Kiwi and add to spinach. Toss with oil and vinegar. Balsamic vinegar goes nicely with spinach. If you like nuts, add sliced almonds or any other kind of nut to the salad. Use quantities of each ingredient as necessary, depending upon the number of people who are going to eat it.
These are just some of the nutrition packed recipes that you can make in the hot summer months. The ingredients are colorful, appetizing and easy to eat. It’s important for seniors to eat highly nutritious foods for bone and brain health and these recipes will help.
To remain at home, many seniors simply need help with daily activities such as bathing, preparing meals, light housekeeping, and transportation. Hiring home care services can allow your loved one to stay living in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible. Contact Family Matters In-Home Care for a free consultation to see how we can help support your family.