Summer Eating for Seniors

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watermelon-1543256_960_720.jpgSummer is a wonderful time of year for many reasons, one of them being the foods that are available to aging parents and other seniors. It’s the height of the barbecuing season, and many delicious fruits and vegetables are at their peak, making for some scrumptious meals and snacks. With that in mind, here are a few summer eating tips for aging parents, spouses, and others.

Watch the barbecued food. Outdoor grilling is a lot of fun and can create scrumptious delights for the palate. However, aging parents need to be careful about what they consume at a barbecue. Many younger “foodies” are interested in highly spiced seasonings that may not sit well with an older individual’s digestive system. It’s best to ask for food that is a bit “plainer” rather than “adventurous.”  Plan in advance and request a tasty but low-fat, low-sodium, lightly seasoned marinade be used on some foods.  Avoiding meats that are too fatty is also suggested; for example, turkey burgers are usually a better option than beefy hamburgers.

Enjoy watermelon. Summer is the time to indulge one’s fondness for watermelon. This healthy fruit has a vibrant flavor, and its high water content helps aging parents and others stay hydrated during hot summer days. Watermelon is also good for the blood pressure as well as for digestion. One serving also provides 17% of the vitamin A and 21% of the vitamin C that is recommended for adults on a daily basis.

Drink iced tea. As mentioned, staying hydrated during the summer is key, but many people get a little tired of drinking glass after glass of water. Getting some hydration from fruits and vegetables is a good idea, but for those looking for a tastier drink, try unsweetened iced tea. It contains a lot of flavonoids that help with healing and fight free radicals, and it also has manganese, which is important for bone health.

Try zucchini. This summery squash has plenty of flavor — but only packs 20 calories per cup.  Worried about fat and cholesterol? There is none with zucchini. And it can be prepared any number of tasty ways.

Aging parents should enjoy the summer and the food it brings. Wise choices can make summer eating healthy as well as tasty.

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