Bowl of pasta Bowl of pasta

Senior Nutrition: Light Summer Meal Ideas

Stay Hydrated in Summer Heat With Fruits and Vegetables

The hypothalamus is a small region in the brain that regulates body temperature and controls appetite. Since the hypothalamus spends most of the time preventing the body from overheating (by sweating) in summer, it focuses less on creating the desire to eat, which is why we seem to have less appetite during the hot season.

To help seniors stay healthy in summer, make sure they are hydrated and eat sufficiently. You also should watch out for extra sugar intake from having more ice cream, frozen drinks and cocktails than you would in other seasons!

10 Summer Fruits and Vegetables

As plants started to fruit after the summer solstice in June (the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere), many fruits and vegetables are at their prime for consumption in July. Below are 10 summer produce items:

1. Watermelon
2. Peaches
3. Strawberries
4. Avocados
5. Tomatoes

6. Squash
7. Arugula
8. Cucumbers
9. Zucchini
10. Eggplant

Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinner Ideas Using Summer Produce

Here are some simple summer vegetarian dishes that use the fruits and vegetables listed above and that can be prepared in 30 minutes or less:

Salad and pasta dinner

  • Easy Strawberry Arugula Salad serves as a refreshing starter for a summer dinner. You may substitute walnuts/pecans and spinach/mixed greens for pine nuts and arugula.
  • Eggplant Pomodoro Pasta is a light dish with a sour tang, which makes it perfect for a summer night. The recipe calls for angel hair pasta, plum tomatoes, capers and green olives. If you prefer less acidity, you may replace green olives with kalamata olives.

Salad and pizza dinner

Gluten-free dinner

  • Roasted Summer Squash and Quinoa Salad is packed with fiber and many minerals.Quinoais a seed that is high in carbohydrates and protein; it is also gluten-free.
  • Minty Watermelon Lime Fruit Pops is a great dessert without added sugar. Only two simple steps are involved in making these popsicles: (1) Blend watermelon cubes, lime juice and mint leaves; (2) freeze the mixture in a mold with a stick until it’s solid.

What other summer recipes do you enjoy? Share with us!

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