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Seasonal Foods Seniors Can Enjoy

May 20, 2016 by Luke Ries

Good Nutrition Aids in Recovery from Hospitalizations

As the weather warms up, seniors can look forward to a variety of seasonal foods that are both healthy and delicious. Take a leisurely stroll through the farmer’s market to see what’s fresh. On its Healthy Meals website, the United States Department of Agriculture provides lists of seasonal fruits and vegetables to help you make healthy choices for your senior loved one that are economical too.

  • Apricots
  • Bananas
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Green Beans
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Lettuce
  • Mangos
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions and Leeks
  • Peas
  • Pineapple
  • Rhubarb
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries?

With just a few more ingredients, seniors can whip up a healthy treat. Try bananas with a little peanut butter as a mid-morning snack, or a nice spinach and strawberry salad for lunch. In addition, springtime signals the start of grilling season. Grilled chicken and fresh green beans make a great dinner. If your aging loved one needs help with meal preparation, you can make a quick batch of Spring Vegetable Soup.

Spring Vegetable Soup

Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1⁄4 red cabbage (medium head, about 2 cups, finely shredded)
  • 2 ripe tomatoes (medium, seeded and chopped)
  • 1⁄2 cup canned artichoke hearts (drained and chopped)
  • 1 cup green peas (frozen or fresh)
  • 2 1⁄2 cups vegetable juice (low-sodium tomato or)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


In large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Sauté cabbage, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and peas for 10 minutes. Add tomato juice and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add basil, and simmer for 10 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender and soup is piping hot. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

You do not have to rely on farmers alone for great fresh produce. Local garden centers stock a wide variety of container-friendly vegetable plants, allowing seniors to enjoy small-scale gardening and reap the rewards of homegrown tomatoes, peppers, and beans.

Good Nutrition Aids in Recovery from Hospitalizations

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) emphasizes that good nutrition is important for older adults, especially following a hospitalization or when managing a chronic illness. To ensure a smooth transition home, the NCOA suggests the following:

  • Ask for help. A loved one or friend can help seniors plan and shop for small meals and snacks that are high in protein, which aids in healing.
  • Stock up on your favorite foods. Even if you do not feel hungry at mealtime, try to eat a few bites.
  • Invite friends or family for a meal. Having enjoyable company makes dining more fun.
  • Get active. Even brief amounts of exercise will stimulate your appetite.
  • Consider hiring in-home care to assist with grocery shopping, meal preparation, and other tasks while you recover.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Your body needs to stay hydrated.

Stay focused on healthy options such as colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and lean proteins like chicken, eggs, or fish.

Interactive Caregiving™ from Comfort Keepers® encourages seniors to participate in favorite pastimes, including light gardening, for a better quality of life. Contact us at the Comfort Keepers of Sheboygan & Fon du Lac to learn more.  

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