When it’s hot outside, your elderly loved one wants to stay cool and comfortable. Often, the appetite diminishes in seniors for a variety of reasons, but there are few things that are as tempting as a delicious fruit smoothie. Not only are smoothies a fine way to cool down, but they are an excellent vehicle for delivering nutrients to your elderly loved one. Packed with vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and more, nutritious summer smoothies will quickly become your elderly loved one’s favorite snack.
Why Smoothies for Seniors?
Smoothies are ideal for seniors that need an extra nutritional boost for whatever reason. Some are on a liquid diet such as a post-surgery, after a stroke or because they have a hard time chewing and swallowing. Some seniors don’t have much of an appetite, due to medication or depression. Still other seniors don’t like it when meals are prepared by another family member or senior care assistant and choose to skip meals. No matter what the reason, sometimes the elderly find it easier to drink a smoothie than force themselves to eat. Smoothies are a healthy alternative to other types of snacks that are heavily processed, giving seniors an extra dose of nutrients when they need it most.
What Makes a Smoothie Healthy?
A smoothie is not a milkshake because they don’t have the ice cream, sugar and other unhealthy ingredients. Smoothies are a like a drinkable vitamin, but still taste sweet. It’s easy to pack a smoothie with all kinds of unhealthy ingredients, like ice cream and chocolate. However, to reap the biggest health benefits, you should stick to some simple and wholesome basics.
Ice is the foundation of any good smoothie, so make sure you have a blender that can pulverize ice cubes. Ice-based smoothies also help seniors stay hydrated and feel full without any added fat or calories. Next, add some whole fruit, which is a key ingredient. Don’t use fruit juice because the fiber in the whole fruit helps with digestion and adds to that full and satisfied feeling. You can freeze pieces of fruit and then add to the blender. Top choices include bananas, strawberries, mango chunks, blueberries, raspberries, and melon. Once you have these basics blended and pulverized, you can move onto the next ingredients
For the creamy base, try a scoop of cottage cheese, almond milk, coconut milk or low fat yogurt. Add a spoonful of nut butter or chopped avocado for some healthy fats. Of course, smoothies are an excellent way to add another serving of vegetables to the aging loved one’s diet. Add a handful of spinach leaves and blend well—the veggies won’t change the flavor at all. To sweeten the smoothie, try honey or sugar substitute. You can boost the nutritional value of the smoothie by adding a scoop of protein powder, wheat germ or any other nutritious supplement. The possibilities are endless when it comes to flavor combinations
There’s something satisfying about drinking a smoothie that transcends age and seniors will certainly consider it a treat to enjoy one during their day. If a healthy smoothie is a daily necessity, family caregivers should make a list of flavor favorites and be sure to share that information with other family members and elder care aides. When it comes to delivering nutrition in a delicious way, smoothies are the answer.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering elder care in Fresno CA, please contact the caring staff at Valley HomeCare.