The benefits of seasonal menus for seniors are undeniable. Fresh, locally-grown fruits and veggies not only have more nutrients than crops sourced from thousands of miles away, but they also taste much better. Plus, using in-season produce saves money, as it requires far less labor to get the food from the farm to the table.
So, which foods are in season? Consider these fresh foods to feature in seasonal menus for seniors this spring.
Apricots may be small, but they pack a big punch of vitamin A. And, they’re a good source of vitamin C, potassium and dietary fiber. In senior seasonal menus, fresh apricots can be layered with yogurt and homemade granola for breakfast parfaits or mixed into fruit and vegetable salads.
Asparagus is loaded with vitamins and minerals – including vitamin K, iron, thiamin and folate — yet is very low in calories and has virtually no fat. Steamed, chopped spears are great in omelets, and fresh grilled asparagus really brings the taste of spring to senior menus.
Broccoli is a nutritional powerhouse for seasonal menus, as it’s rich in minerals, dietary fiber and vitamins C, A, E and K. Blanched, chopped florets make for delicious additions to pasta salads, frittatas and quiches, and seniors love steamed fresh broccoli with a bit of garlic and lemon juice.
Mushrooms are cholesterol-free and low in both calories and fat. And, they’re a good source of riboflavin, niacin, copper and several other vitamins and minerals. Fresh mushrooms are perfect toppings for pizzas and burgers, and slices can easily be added to casseroles, stews, stir-fries and other favorites on senior menus.
Peas offer a host of nutritional benefits, as they’re rich sources of vitamin C, vitamin A, dietary fiber, potassium and magnesium. In-season peas are delightful in potato salads, stirred into mixed green salads or blended into creamy springtime soups.
Rhubarb is packed with nutrients, including vitamin C, calcium, potassium and dietary fiber. Muffins, pies and coffee cakes featuring rhubarb are much-loved additions to senior seasonal menus, and the veggie also makes for a tasty salsa.
Spinach is an excellent source of vitamins K, A and C, and it contains a good amount of folate, manganese and several other minerals. Fresh, in-season spinach is tasty when used as a sandwich wrap, blended into a pesto or tossed with strawberries, mandarin oranges and apple slices.
Does your adult care facility need simple, healthy recipes that incorporate fresh, locally-grown produce? Grove Menus offers the ideal solution – our unique, cost-effective software system features an integrated suite of tools that make it easy to plan seasonal menus for seniors. Hundreds of dietitian-approved recipes are included, and making adjustments to use in-season produce takes just a few clicks of the mouse.
To learn more about Grove Menus, or to schedule a free, no-hassle demonstration of how our user-friendly software system can help you create nutritious and delicious seasonal menus for seniors, contact us today.