Creating a Healthier Christmas Dinner for the Elderly

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How to Make Christmas Dinner Healthier for Seniors

By Lesa Hardiman, 9:00 am on

Many seniors look forward to the delicious foods that await them at a Christmas dinner. However, many of the dishes traditionally offered are not the healthiest options available. To help reduce your elderly loved one’s risk of health complications, Grand Rapids elder care experts recommend filling the table with healthier alternatives to the traditional Christmas dinner menu.

Pork Tenderloin

As we age, there is a loss of muscle mass and a decrease in bone strength, but high-protein diets can help maintain muscle tissue and aid in the absorption of calcium for bone health. Pork loin is high in protein and a perfect lean meat option for your loved one.

Red Cabbage Sauté with Apples

Sautéed red cabbage and apples make for a perfect side dish. Red cabbage is loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that can help prevent cancer. Cooking this combination in apple cider vinegar may help lower your loved one’s blood sugar levels and is sure to be a delicious hit.

Grass-Fed Beef Stew

As a prime rib alternative, your loved one can enjoy a warm and comforting beef stew. Grass-fed beef is abundant in omega-3 fatty acids, which assist in prolonging life expectancy and preventing dementia. Add nutrient-rich vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, and sweet potatoes and cook in a crock-pot on low heat for about 4 hours.

Mashed Cauliflower

Try substituting the traditional mashed potatoes with cauliflower. This alternative recipe is both delicious and healthy for the brain. Cauliflower is an excellent source of choline, which is a key nutrient that can stimulate memory enhancement and help prevent the memory loss that is common in seniors. With this alternative, your loved one will not be missing a classic mashed potato side during the holiday dinner.

Cinnamon Dusted Walnuts

Walnuts are a major source of vitamin E, which has been found to prevent heart problems and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. For a delicious holiday snack or topping for dessert, coat the walnuts in cinnamon and toast in the oven.

Making changes to your loved one’s diet isn’t easy, no matter what time of year. Consider hiring a professional caregiver from Home Care Assistance to help with grocery shopping and meal preparation. For seniors with more complex care needs, we also provide specialized Parkinson’s, post-stroke, and Alzheimer’s home care Grand Rapids families trust. Call a friendly Care Manager today at 616-243-0835 for more information and to schedule a free in-home consultation.