You can’t always be there. But we can.
Healthy smoothies are a wonderful snack or meal substitute for aging loved ones. Because they are drinkable, chilled and packed full of nutrients, smoothies can entice seniors to eat like few other foods can. If you or your loved ones homecare aide are struggling to get your elderly loved one to eat, especially fruits and vegetables, then consider making nutritional smoothies.
The most important thing you need is a good blender that has the necessary power to chop up ice cubes, pulpy fruit and more. You’ll also need around two cups of whole fruit, either fresh or frozen. Some of the most popular include blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, mango, papaya, pineapple, peaches, nectarines, banana, kiwi fruit, watermelon and oranges. Any combination of whole fruits will do and flavors are only limited by the imagination. If your elderly loved one has a favorite fruit, then be sure to incorporate it.
Every healthy smoothie needs one cup of a liquid component that is usually some kind of dairy or a dairy/juice combo. Examples include cottage cheese, non-fat yogurt, buttermilk, almond milk, skim milk or fruit juice. You can combine these liquid options until they make one cup. Add in the sweetener which can be a spoon of honey, a little coconut milk, or a non-sugar sweetening powder.
The best thing about smoothies for elderly loved ones is that you can add in all kinds of nutrient boosters to make it full of the vitamins and minerals they need. Many people like to include a half cup of vegetables to get a healthy boost without affecting the flavor. Ideal veggies in smoothies include baby spinach, kale, carrot, beet and zucchini. Nutritional supplements are also popular, such as a scoop of protein powder, wheat germ or flaxseed. Other add-ins include a spoonful of peanut butter, spices like cinnamon or nutmeg, and coconut.
Add the ice to the blender and pulse until it is crushed. Then add the other ingredients and blend well. Make sure there are no large chunks of fruit or ice that might cause problems when an elderly person drinks the smoothie. Pour immediately into a glass and serve. Elderly loved ones will definitely enjoy drinking their smoothie with a straw.
Because senior malnutrition is so common, it makes sense to try to get aging loved ones to eat or drink as much healthy things as they can. While they may turn up their nose at steamed veggies and a glass of milk, they will be more likely to enjoy a delicious smoothie that is packed with vitamins, minerals, proteins, healthy fats and more. Family caregivers and senior homecare aides can even make smoothies as a meal substitute when the elderly person is not feeling very hungry but needs something to eat.
There’s no doubt that smoothies are liquid vitamins because they deliver an abundance of nutrients without adding fat, sugar and processed ingredients. Learning how to make nutritional smoothies for aging loved ones can really make a difference in their overall health and wellness.