Elderly Care Nutrition: Turning a Healthy Salad into a Wintertime Meal

December 17, 2015

Elderly Care in Westchester NY

You already know the important role that nutrition plays in your elderly care journey with your aging loved ones. What they eat is vital to how they feel, their energy levels, how their bodies function, and their ability to ward off infection, illness, and other health concerns. While fresh salads are a fantastic way to limit calories and back vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber into your parents’ daily diet, sometimes they can feel unsatisfying. This is particularly true during the winter months when the colder temperatures make most people reach for heavier, heartier foods to keep them feeling comforted and sustained.

Finding creative ways to turn a healthy salad into a wintertime meal can help you to keep your elderly care nutrition goals on track while also making sure that your parents do not get bored with their meals, or start turning to unhealthy snack alternatives because their dinner left them feeling cold.

Try some of these ways that you and your parents’ elderly health care services provider can transform a fresh salad into a hearty, satisfying wintertime meal:

• Mix up your greens. This does not mean just getting out the salad tongs and tossing the vegetables around. A salad can get boring and feel fleeting quickly if you are trying to build it out of iceberg lettuce alone. Iceberg is almost all water with very little nutrition and even less taste, which not only makes it far less satisfying than other greens, but also encourages your parents to pour on the dressing and toss in an extra handful of croutons. Instead, choose a base of hearty, bold greens that pack flavor, texture, and nutrition. Baby spinach, field greens, arugula, kale, and watercress are all fantastic options for filling, flavorful, and nutritious salads. If these are too intense, try mixing in some romaine leaves for a lighter flavor that still allows plenty of nutrition.

• Keep it colorful. The rainbow approach is the best way to get the most nutrition out of your daily diet, and an effective philosophy when it comes to building meal-worthy salads. Choose at least two or three different vegetables to add into your salad in addition to the greens, and look for variation in color for the most nutrition. Chop the pieces bite-sized to make eating more convenient. For an extra pop of color, flavor, and nutrition, try working in some seasonal fruits. Pears, apples, and even grapes are abundant and delicious during the winter and make amazing additions to salads; cutting some of the bitterness and allowing you to use a smaller amount of dressing.

• Pour on the beans. Beans are a caregiver’s best friend. These nutritional powerhouses are inexpensive and versatile, and if you choose the canned variety, require almost no preparation. Add drained kidney, garbanzo, or white beans to the salad to immediately bump up the satisfaction factor, make it feel “warmer” to eat, and increase protein, dietary fiber, and vitamins.

• Increase the protein. The easiest way to transform an already fantastic salad into a full meal is by adding protein. While summertime salads may have you reaching for the tuna fish, the winter months call for something heartier. Choose warm strips of grilled chicken, hardboiled eggs, strong-flavored cheeses, or nuts for lasting energy and body-loving nutrition.

If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Westchester, NY, contact Star One Home Care and Medical Staffing at 718-733-2222 or 914-362-0899.  Call today!

Patricia Coffie, RN, BSN, MFA

Patricia Coffie, RN, BSN, MFA

Director of Client Services at Star One Home Care
Patricia Coffie, RN, BSN, MFA is Director of Client Services & Director of Phoenix Nurse Aide Training Center. Before assuming the post in 2012, Patricia was the Director or Nursing & Service Delivery at WRC for 3 years where she was the strategic lead for nursing and services to members.

Patricia started her nursing career 19 years ago at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and research institution in New York City, and since then has gained experience in Adult Intensive Care Units (ICU) , Pediatric Care (PICU ), Operating Room (OR) , mental health and community settings. She later moved into director of nursing roles, where she obtained extensive experience in leading and developing the nursing profession. She also pioneered good partnership working with other health care organizations, as well as social services, and the wider community.
Patricia Coffie, RN, BSN, MFA

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