June 21st is National Smoothie Day. Smoothies are one of the best ways to start your dad’s day when he has problems with tooth or jaw pain. If he’s experiencing ill-fitting dentures or has problems with chewing after a stroke or as dementia progresses, here are some smoothies that provide the nutrition he needs. If preparing easy-to-chew meals becomes difficult for your senior parent as well, personal care at home can be there to help.
Place a cup of your dad’s favorite milk in a blender. Add a cup of unsweetened applesauce, a quarter cup of oat flour, a teaspoon of cinnamon, and a splash of vanilla. Blend that until smooth.
Chia seeds are packed with fiber, calcium, iron, B vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids. They’re great additions to a smoothie. Place a tablespoon of chia seeds into a blender, and add a cup of frozen berries, a frozen banana, a cup of milk, and a cup of baby spinach leaves. Blend until smooth.
Blueberries and Greens
Blueberries do a great job of masking the flavor of greens, and both offer the antioxidants that older adults need. It’s easy to make and takes only a minute or two.
Put a cup of frozen blueberries, a cup of baby spinach leaves, a frozen banana, a cup of unsweetened almond or flax milk, a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, and a heaping soup spoon of almond butter into a blender. Blend it for a minute and serve.
Chocolate Strawberry and Greens
Place a cup of frozen strawberries, half a frozen banana, and a cup of baby kale in a blender. Add two tablespoons of cacao powder, a half cup of unsweetened vanilla yogurt, a cup of unsweetened cashew or almond milk, a quarter cup of almond flour, and a teaspoon of cinnamon. Blend that until smooth.
Peanut Butter Banana
Chop up a banana and add to a blender with a cup of oat milk. Add a half cup of old-fashioned oats, a quarter cup of unsweetened peanut butter, and a tablespoon of flax seed powder. Blend that until smooth. Add cacao powder if you want to make it a chocolate peanut butter banana smoothie.
What Happens When Your Dad Cannot Feed Himself?
What if your dad has a hard time holding a glass or drinking from a straw? A caregiver can take smoothies and feed them to your dad using a spoon. He’ll have the helping hand he needs to keep his calorie intake stable.
In addition to a balanced diet to help your dad’s health, you should look at personal care at home. He can have caregivers help him with eating, grooming, and hygiene. His caregivers can ensure he’s showered and dressed each morning and help him shave, apply moisturizer, and brush or comb his hair.
Personal care at home aides can assist your dad with nail care when needed. And, when he needs to brush or floss his teeth or care for his dentures and gums, his caregivers can help with that, too. A home care advisor can help you get started.