Summer is all about simplicity. It’s about enjoying the beauty of nature and everything the season has to offer. For seniors, it’s especially nice to get back outside again without having to bundle up or worry about slipping on the ice.
So when you’re spending all this extra time outside, you might be wondering what you can cook that is healthy and quick to minimize time spent in the kitchen. Lucky for you, summer foods are plentiful, delicious and satisfying. Read below for the best foods for seniors to eat during summer and some delicious recipes to save time and energy.
Top Summer Foods for Seniors
Whether you’re planning a barbecue or just looking to eat more fresh foods, below are some of the top options for senior foods that are in season during summer:
- Watermelon — Full of lycopene, watermelon has been shown to help prevent heart disease and some cancers.
- Berries — Many berries are low in calories and contain antioxidants and fiber that help promote health and digestion.
- Sweet corn — ummer sweet corn, or creamy corn, is a great source of lutein, which is a powerful antioxidant that can protect your eyes.
- Nuts and sunflower seeds — Sunflower seeds are often regarded as a superfood. Great for snacking, these seeds are a great source of protein, minerals and phytosterols, which help lower blood cholesterol levels.
- Iced tea — Staying hydrated is especially important for seniors during summer. Tea can help lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and promote better oral health.
- Tomatoes — Tomatoes are a great source of lycopene and salicylates, which have been shown to reduce inflammation and fight heart disease.
- Summer squash — Nutrient-packed and high in fiber, magnesium and vitamin A, this summer food is a healthy choice for seniors.
5 Healthy Meals Using Summer Foods
If you’re looking for some quick and easy recipes to try this summer using fresh ingredients, we’ve got you covered. Below are some great recipes for seniors that are part of a healthy diet and nutrition plan.
Warm Oatmeal and Fresh Berries
- Fresh blueberries, strawberries or raspberries
- Old-fashioned oats
- Place fresh berries in a crockpot on low heat with a small pat of butter.
- Add one serving of old-fashioned oats with water.
- Cover and cook on low for several hours or overnight.
- Scoop and enjoy.
- Yogurt (look for yogurt low in sugar)
- Seasonal nuts or sunflower seeds
- Fresh fruit
- Place yogurt in the bottom of a small dish or cup.
- Top with nuts and fresh fruit.
- Refrigerate or serve immediately.
- Two eggs
- One tbsp. olive oil
- Pepper jack cheese
- Fresh salsa
- Beat two eggs.
- Add 1 tbsp. olive oil to a skillet and heat.
- Pour in the egg mixture and add in cheese and salsa.
- When eggs are light yellow and firm, fold and serve with avocado.
Summer Chicken Salad
- Boneless, skinless chicken breast
- Olive oil
- Summer squash
- Sweet corn
- Lettuce mix
- Cook chicken thoroughly on medium heat in a skillet seasoned with olive oil.
- Once cooked through, shred and place in the refrigerator.
- Cut up vegetables and add to a bowl with salad mix.
- Add in shredded chicken and mix before eating.
- Olive oil
- 1 cup shaved zucchini
- Pre-made whole-wheat pizza crust
- Refrigerated basil pesto
- 2 tomatoes
- Baby spring mix
- Chopped fresh basil
- Shredded cheese (optional)
- Brush a whole-wheat pizza crust with olive oil and layer with basil pesto.
- Cut all vegetables and layer on pizza.
- Sprinkle with cheese (if desired) and then broil in oven until cheese melts and crust is heated through.
- Garnish with sliced basil and slice before eating.
One of the best things about summer foods is that they taste great raw. Adding them to cooked dishes enhances the flavor and ensures you get a nutrient-packed, delicious meal. Experiment with different flavors and find recipes that inspire you to eat healthy.
Focus on Nutrition at Heritage Senior Living
Heritage Senior Living understands the importance of a nutritionally balanced diet. At our independent living community, you can leave the cooking to our staff when you dine in one of our chef-inspired, in-house restaurants. With a coordinated schedule of outings and activities, exquisite culinary creations, and an integrative wellness program, you’ll find everything you need to feel at home. Learn more about the continuous care offered at Heritage Senior Living. Contact us today with questions or to schedule a tour.