With summer in full swing, we’re surrounded by countless fresh and vibrant ingredients that make for a sweet summer palette. As tempting as it may be for your loved ones to fully indulge themselves in all of the seasonal delights that come their way, it’s still important to look for options that are both delicious and nutritious.
Here are some summer-themed ways to help your loved ones eat well as they age while still getting the most out of summer’s seasonal offerings.
Opt for fresh and local produce
Summer is the perfect time to indulge in the offerings of local farmers’ markets or even your loved ones’ backyard gardens. Fruits and vegetables are officially in season and can be delicious finger-friendly snacks. Here are a few that they might have on hand:
- Leafy greens
These foods are rich in essential vitamins and minerals, and can also give a much-needed cool-down during the dog days of summer.
Speaking of cooling down, it’s important to encourage your family members to stay hydrated and choose foods that can help regulate their body temperature. Incorporate and experiment with hydrating foods like watermelon, citrus fruits, and cucumbers can boost their daily fluid intake.
Opting for natural drinks featuring these ingredients can also help your loved ones to stay refreshed without increasing sugar consumption.
Feature lean proteins
Protein is a crucial part of any diet, as it maintains your muscle mass, bone health, and overall vitality as your loved ones get older. During the summer months, try to help them plan meals featuring lean proteins like grilled fish, turkey, or chicken breast or even plant-based options like chickpeas.
All of these protein options are lighter on the digestive system and can help them savor the flavors of summer without feeling weighed down.
Incorporate whole grains
Whole grains are a great, easily accessible source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals which can all give your loved ones more energy to make the most of every summer day.
Help them search for options like brown rice, quinoa, and whole-grain pasta to really help with digestive health. Summer’s the perfect opportunity to experiment with grain salads or summer grain bowls.
Get out the grill
Grilling is one of the unofficial pastimes of summer and is a great way to prepare meals while enhancing flavor. On those cooler summer nights, get outside with your family and grill lean cuts of meat or vegetables and add in herbs and spices to get a full range of flavor without unnecessary fats or sodium.
Be mindful but don’t let them forget to treat themselves!
Maintaining a healthy diet is key to healthy aging, but don’t deny your loved ones the occasional summer guilty pleasure. Pick out a frozen treat that you can enjoy with them today:
- Frozen yogurt
- Fruit popsicles
- Fruit-based ice cream
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying seasonal delights in moderation!
Summer offers some of the best pleasures in life, including the huge palette of flavors that it comes with. By looking for tasty yet nutritious options of the season, you can help your family get the full summer experience while boosting their well-being and help them feel great while doing so!
For more information, download our Family Caregiver Ultimate Guide.