As spring and summer arrive, gardens start taking shape. That’s why National Garden Month falls in April. Your parents love to spend time outside. Gardening gives them an opportunity to enjoy the sun while also growing their own food.
Fresh vegetables should make up a good portion of your parents’ daily diet. They’ll get vitamins and minerals from the produce they eat. If they want vegetables that are easy-to-grow and offer tremendous nutritional benefits, these vegetables are the best.
Build a garden bed that’s rich in compost and loose soil and plant asparagus starters. You’ll leave those starters for the rest of the year. In the spring, the asparagus stalks rise from the ground as the soil thaws and warms up.
Harvest the stalks when they’re around 10 or 12 inches tall. Once all of the asparagus shoots have been harvested, Add some compost to provide nutrients for next year’s harvest.
Asparagus has a high water content, which is good if your parents don’t drink a lot. The stalks can be eaten raw if you shave or grate them. You can also grill, steam, or roast asparagus stalks. They’re high in folate, iron, riboflavin, thiamin, and vitamin K.
Root crops are easy to grow. Plant the seeds, space the seedlings to allow room for the roots to spread out, and harvest when ready. Beet greens are also edible and can be harvested before the beetroots are big enough.
Grate beets for salads and eat them raw. Steam or roast them, too. Some people pickle beets, too.
When it comes to nutrients, beets are high in folate. They’re also a good source of manganese and potassium.
Not everyone has experienced kohlrabi, but they should. A form of wild cabbage, kohlrabi grows like a root vegetable. The difference is that the bulbous stems form right above the ground. Peel off the fibrous outer skin to get to the flesh.
Kohlrabi’s stem can be eaten steamed, sauteed, or raw. It will remind you of broccoli steams. You can also steam and eat the leaves, which tend to be similar to collard greens.
A three-ounce serving of kohlrabi has 75 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin C. It also contains 12 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin B6.
Spinach is so high in many vitamins and minerals. It’s also a very easy vegetable to grow. Plant the seeds. Thin the seedlings as necessary and keep the spinach watered. If you’ve bought drought-resistant spinach varieties, you’ll get a lot of leaves before it goes to flower.
Spinach is very high in vitamin K. It’s also high in folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. Serve it raw, add it to smoothies, or steam it.
That’s a small sampling of nutritious vegetables that anyone can grow. As you harvest them, make sure your parents eat them for meals and snacks. If they don’t enjoy cooking or cannot cook without help, elder care aides can cook meals for them.
Elder care helps with meal preparation. Caregivers can take your parents grocery shopping, help them put their purchases away, and keep them company while they eat. Call an elder care representative to schedule services.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care in Northbrook, IL, contact the caring staff at Companion Services of America today at (847) 943-3786. Our home care service area includes Northbrook, Highland Park, Deerfield, Glenview, Buffalo Grove, Evanston, Des Plaines, Skokie, Lake Forest, Wilmette and the surrounding areas.
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