October 25th is National Pasta Day. Pasta is a tried-and-true family favorite, and a convenient option many families reach for as a part of dinner several times a month. Pasta is easy to prepare and versatile, which makes it the ideal backdrop for a wide variety of delicious and satisfying meals. As a family caregiver, you want to make sure the meals you serve your senior, as well as the rest of your family, are delicious and fulfilling, but also give them the nutrition they need to keep their body healthy and functioning. While pasta sometimes has a reputation of not being a healthy option, but there are many ways you can make this convenient and tasty food a healthy and beneficial part of your seniors diet, and the diet for the rest of your family. Enjoying one of these healthy meals together as a fantastic way to spend quality time together, strengthen your family bonds, and make memories.
Try some of these healthy meals with your senior on National Pasta Day:
- Replace conventional pasta with a healthier alternative. Whole wheat versions, and versions partially made with vegetable based flours reduce the carbohydrates, increase fiber and vitamins, and make each bite healthier. You can also forgo the pasta all together, and mimic it using "noodles" made from spiralized zucchini and squash.
- Pack a traditional red sauce with vegetables to increase vitamins, minerals, and fiber in every bite. These vegetables also bulk out the meal, allowing your parent to feel more satisfied with fewer noodles. This is a fantastic way to not only encourage your family to eat more vegetables, but also to cut down on the carbs and calories of the pasta itself.
- Try changing up family favorites with healthy ingredients. Add peas and pieces of cooked chicken breast to macaroni and cheese to increase protein and vitamins, and make smaller portions more satisfying.
- Make the pasta dish only a portion of the entire meal. Start the meal with a large salad of leafy greens and vegetables topped with a very light oil and vinegar based dressing. Remember it is important to eat a small amount of fat with vegetables, particularly raw vegetables, as the vitamins and minerals with in vegetables are fat soluble. This means if your family does not consume a small amount of fat along with their vegetables, they are not getting the maximum benefit.
- Rather than thinking of pasta as the main element of the dish, think of it is only a contributing element. Add a small amount of pasta to a vegetable soup for more satisfaction.
There are many ways a home care provider can help your parent to live a healthier lifestyle as they age in place. A safe and reliable transportation that means your aging parent can take on grocery shopping themselves, which allows them to stock their home with healthy foods, and also grants them a greater sense of Independence and autonomy. This in-home senior care services provider can then help with meal and snack preparation to ensure your aging parent eats a healthy, balanced diet on a regular basis.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED-ONE ARE CONSIDERING HOME CARE IN ROLESVILLE, NC, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT SENIORS HELPING SENIORS TODAY. CALL (919) 761-5346.