Everyone know that leafy greens are nutritious, but many people don’t find them particularly delicious. When family caregivers are trying to provide their aging loved ones with healthy meals, they often struggle with getting them to eat more greens. Many elderly adults have become picky eaters, or they only want food with strong tastes due to weakening taste buds. Still others have never liked greens and simply don’t want them.
Family caregivers need to figure out the best ways to incorporate leafy greens into their elderly loved one’s daily menu. The most common greens include spinach, kale, chard, romaine lettuce, cabbage, and collard greens. Although it may be a challenge, there are plenty of tips and tricks that family caregivers and elder care assistants can use to ensure seniors get their daily dose of nutritious greens.
Why Greens are So Important to a Healthy Diet
Green vegetables are extremely healthy because they are full of essential vitamins that the human body needs. These include vitamins A, B, C, E and K. They also contain minerals such as iron, magnesium, and calcium. Other essential nutrients within help elevate greens from just a good food to a superfood.
Leafy greens have a huge impact on an elderly person’s health. They aide in strengthening the immune system and can help prevent cancer. A diet rich in greens can lead to lower cholesterol, better circulation, improved digestion, better gut health and numerous other health benefits. Seniors that eat leafy greens regularly are going to notice a big difference in their health and wellness.
Ideas on Serving Leafy Greens
It’s a real challenge to figure out how to get elderly adults to eat more leafy greens. The most popular way to eat greens is in a salad. However, salads don’t have to be boring when they have a delicious dressing and lots of toppings like hard boiled eggs, peas, carrots, radishes, sunflower seeds, cherry tomatoes and sprinkled cheese.
One delicious way to serve up greens is not so obvious. Many seniors like fruit smoothies, but family caregivers and elder care assistants can also throw in some leafy greens. When blended with strong tastes such as blueberries, bananas, chocolate, peanut butter, strawberries or raspberries, a secret serving of spinach or kale won’t even be noticed. Just because a leafy green is no longer leafy doesn’t lessen its nutritious impact.
Another way for elderly adults to enjoy greens is via chips, either commercially prepared or homemade. To make at home, family caregivers or elder care aides just need to toss pieces of kale or collard greens in oil and season them. Then, spread them on a baking sheet and bake in a 300-degree oven for 30 minutes. These crispy, seasoned snacks are very appealing to elderly adults and they rarely mind that they are made of leafy greens.
Even if seniors are open to including more leafy greens into their diet, it can often be a challenge for family caregivers and elder care aides to come up with new ways to serve them. However, it’s worth it to provide maximum nutrition to an elderly adult that wants to be more healthy.
When you are in need of care for a senior loved one, consider senior care provided by Golden Heart Senior Care. We have offices nationwide. For more information, call us today at (800) 601-2792.