The Calorie Control Council reports the average American Thanksgiving dinner contains a whopping 3,000 calories. The snacks typically served before the feast may add another 1,500 calories. This is not good news for seniors living with serious health conditions. However, there are many ways to trim calories while still enjoying a delicious meal.
1. Fruit & Vegetable Platter
Consider creating a colorful platter of various raw fruits and vegetables. Serve the vegetables with low-fat or fat-free dips. Fresh produce offers a wealth of fiber along with essential vitamins and minerals.
Seniors who need assistance with meal preparation can benefit from professional in-home care. In Mesa, home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
2. Roast Turkey
Turkey provides healthy lean protein unless glazed or filled with high-calorie stuffing. Consider not salting before roasting the turkey. Stuff the cavity with apples and oranges that can help the meat maintain its moisture while adding a unique flavor. If contemplating between dark and light meat, consider that 3 ounces of dark meat has 160 calories and 11 grams of fat. Conversely, 3 ounces of white meat offers 115 calories and 7 grams of fat.
3. Baked Sweet Potatoes
Instead of a traditional extra sweet and high-calorie sweet potato casserole laden with fats and sugars, simply bake the sweet potatoes. Sprinkle a dash of cinnamon on each split sweet potato or add a few dashes into the mash for added flavor. Each sweet potato offers a mere 180 calories along with an abundance of vitamins A, B6, and C.
4. Low-Calorie Green Bean Casserole
Green beans are naturally low in calories. The canned products often used in green bean casserole are loaded with fat and salt. For a healthier alternative, simply combine the vegetables with reduced-fat milk and whole-wheat flour for a thickened sauce along with freshly chopped mushrooms. Sprinkle the mixture with low-fat Parmesan cheese and bake as usual. A single-cup serving of canned, salt-free green beans provides vitamins A, C, K, and folate and has a mere 27 calories.
This Thanksgiving, help your loved one prepare nutritious meals. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Mesa seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
5. Baked Asparagus Fries
As an alternative to green bean casserole, baked asparagus might be a delightful option. Dip each stalk into beaten eggs and dredge through a combination of bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Place the asparagus on a lightly oiled baking sheet, or use non-stick spray. Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. A one cup serving of asparagus has only 27 calories and an abundance of vitamins A, C, K, folate, riboflavin, and thiamine.
6. Healthier Pumpkin Pie
Instead of a traditional flour or graham cracker crust that has no nutritional value, consider substituting crushed pecans. For the filling, combine pureed pumpkin with egg substitute and condensed skim milk. As pumpkin is naturally sweet, reduce the amount of added sugar by one-third. One cup of canned, pureed pumpkin has 83 calories along with more than enough of the daily requirements for vitamin A. Pumpkin also contains vitamins C and E.
Don’t let your senior loved one’s healthy eating habits end after Thanksgiving. Make sure he or she has support to maintain a nutritious diet by hiring a professional caregiver. In Mesa, AZ, home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. To learn about our professional in-home care services and how they can benefit your aging loved one, call us at (480) 699-4899 today.