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July is National Grilling Month – What’s on Your Menu?

July and the entire middle of the summer is a perfect time to cook outdoors and enjoy the warm weather. National Grilling Month is a great way to take advantage of this activity with some old favorites on the grill or experimentation with new food items. Even those who are health conscious because of senior care needs can still find fun ways to get people of all ages involved in National Grilling month with a little bit of planning beforehand.

When considering the dietary needs of elderly parents or other relatives who will be getting involved in this activity and eating, it is always beneficial to be mindful of their health and obtain grilling items that will not only be healthy for them, but also nutritious, fun to cook, and tasty to eat. Some commonly grilled items like ground beef burgers and pork based hot dogs can be high in saturated fat and cholesterol, which is not good for older people especially if they are dealing with issues such as high blood pressure or cardiovascular problems. If your senior loved one has difficulty with chewing, swallowing, fine motor skills or other limitations that require additional assistance, consider these needs when planning the menu. A senior care provider can accompany your aging parent to summer gatherings to help with any challenges they may face.

As an alternative, most vegetables can be grilled, and they are a great choice for seniors and family caregivers. Here are a few ideas to integrate some plant-based items into a day of grilling.

  • Mixing a number of different seasoned vegetables on a skewer is a great way to serve them and provide variety that is not available throughout most of the year.
  • Even certain fruits like pineapple and avocado are great to add to dishes to provide additional flavor and color.
  • Corn on the Cob is another staple of grilling that is healthy and requires little preparation. Regular potatoes and sweet potatoes can also be placed on the grill and left for another easy to prepare plant based option.
  • Some vegetables and fruits can be used as a seasoning, garnish, or pureed into dishes such as salsa. This can easily be accomplished by looking up some simple recipes for vegetable toppings and salsas.

If you need a source of meat and protein, poultry and fish are good, healthy alternatives that are easy to grill. There are plenty of different kinds of spices and seasonings that can be used on these meats as well, depending on personal tastes. Everything from spicy, to sweet, to mild works well on favorites like chicken wings or salmon. Shrimp can also be added to your vegetable skewers for tasty seafood kebabs. All kinds of vegetables also work great as side dishes for fish, shrimp, and poultry.

At the end of the day, it is best to get to know your guests before your grilling event and provide items that will satisfy them and be good for their health. Ask about any allergies or potential health concerns and try to create a menu that will please as many guests as possible, so that everyone can have a great time during National Grilling Month.

If you or an aging loved one is considering home care services in Falmouth, ME please contact the caring staff at CareTree Healthcare today. Call today! 207-899-0774.

Mary Fowler

Managing Director at CareTree Healthcare
Mary Fowler is the Managing Director at CareTree Healthcare.

The story behind CareTree is one of empathy, caring and compassion. Every team member, from our key office staff to our network of caregivers, has experienced first hand the frustration, confusion, and helplessness that families go through when watching a loved one lose independence and pride with aging. Everyone on our team is here to make a difference in the lives of families throughout Maine, ensuring you never have to experience those same feelings and always feel that you are part of the CareTree family.