For some seniors, the prospect of dessert is more appealing than the actual meal. If this sounds like your elderly loved one, you may be concerned he or she is not eating as healthily as possible. However, there are many sweet and tasty treats you can make right at home that are actually packed with health benefits. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care Phoenix families trust, has put together a list of a few you may want to make for your loved one.
1. Pumpkin Pie
Homemade pumpkin pie can be enjoyed any time of the year, not just during the holidays. One slice has 249 percent of your loved one’s daily vitamin A needs. Vitamin A helps speed up the healing of wounds and can help prevent macular degeneration. Pumpkin pie is also a good source of calcium and iron, which can help keep your loved one’s bones strong.
2. Dark Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
Containing flavonols with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, dark chocolate is an indulgent treat with many health benefits. A study done by professors at San Diego State University showed participants who ate dark chocolate had lower blood sugar levels and better cholesterol levels than those who ate white chocolate. Strawberries have 149 percent of your loved one’s daily value of vitamin C, which can help strengthen his or her immune system. Combined, dark chocolate and strawberries offer a healthy dose of antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber.
3. Frozen Yogurt
Though store-bought frozen yogurt often packs in too many calories and too little nutrition, a homemade version with fresh fruit and Greek yogurt makes it a delicious dessert full of protein and vitamins. Each serving of Greek yogurt contains 12 grams of protein, which can help your loved one build muscle, aid in tissue repair, and help boost his or her immune system. Depending on the type of fruit added to the frozen yogurt, your loved one might get an additional helping of vitamins and fiber.
4. Whole-Wheat Banana Bread
A favorite banana bread recipe can turn into a healthy, fiber-filled treat by switching out regular flour for whole wheat. Whole wheat is a great source of vitamins B1 and B3, folic acid, and iron. One slice of whole-wheat banana bread contains three grams of soluble fiber, aiding in your loved one’s digestion.
Helping your loved one maintain a healthy diet doesn’t mean sacrificing delicious meals and desserts. At Home Care Assistance, our caregivers are expertly trained in senior nutrition and can help your loved one prepare healthy meals and even go grocery shopping, making sure he or she is eating properly on a regular basis. We also offer specialized Parkinson’s, dementia, and Alzheimer’s care in Phoenix. For more information on how proper nutrition can benefit your loved one’s health, call a Care Manager at 602.388.1085 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.