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5 Thanksgiving Meals with Healthy Benefits for Seniors

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Many seniors look forward to Thanksgiving, even if some of the meals they grew up eating for this holiday are no longer healthy options. Luckily, there are a few alternatives that ensure they won’t miss their favorite festive meals from the past. Jefferson County senior home care experts suggest a few dishes with healthy benefits for the elderly.

1. Roasted or Stuffed Acorn Squash

Acorn squash lends itself well to simple roasting. Just add a little oil or salt and stuffing with whole grains and dried fruit. Squash is high in vitamins, and many of the traditional stuffings for acorn squash, like wild rice and quinoa, are high in fiber. Seniors often need additional fiber in their diets, and replacing a fatty and carbohydrate-heavy side dish like biscuits or potatoes with nutritious squash is an excellent choice.

2. Mashed or Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are much lower on the glycemic index than regular potatoes, whose starches are quickly converted to sugar by the body. Seniors watching their intake of sugar should consider substituting sweet potatoes for regular potatoes for this reason. Unlike mashed potatoes, which usually have significant amounts of added fat and salt, mashed sweet potatoes have excellent flavor and texture on their own. 

3. Roasted Turkey Breast

Turkey has both dark, fattier meat and light, healthier meat. Removing the skin also keeps the meat leaner and better for seniors focused on eating a low-fat diet. Roasting turkey breasts with no skin and a light sauce delivers a tender and more healthful alternative to fatty drumsticks and thighs. 

4. Sautéed or Steamed Green Beans

Green beans are high in fiber and vitamin C, an immune system booster, but they are usually included in heavy dishes like green bean casserole. Steamed or sautéed green beans with slivered almonds are a seasonal alternative providing healthy fat and plenty of vitamins for the elderly.

5. Real Cranberry Sauce

Canned cranberry sauce is mostly sugar. However, cranberry sauce made with fresh cranberries can be adjusted to have less sugar or to include a sugar substitute that is healthier for seniors, especially those with diabetes. Cranberry sauce can even be a substitute for dessert.

Make sure your elderly loved one eats healthy this Thanksgiving and all year long by reaching out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can prepare nutritious meals and even take care of the grocery shopping. In addition to live-in and respite care, we also offer specialized Parkinson’s, stroke, and Alzheimer’s home care Jefferson County, CO, seniors can rely on. For more information on our in-home care services, please call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (303) 987-5992 .