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It’s time to start planning your gardens. It’s also a good time to take a step towards changing your parents’ diets. Nutritionists recommend up to five servings of vegetables each day. If your parents are active, they should aim for four or five servings. If they’re sedentary, they need three servings.


Homecare in St. Cloud MN: Include These Vegetables
Homecare in St. Cloud MN: Include These Vegetables


Certain vegetables stand out as better choices. Leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, and legumes are full of nutrients that help boost fiber, calcium, and antioxidant intake. Cruciferous vegetables are believed to help lower the risk of some cancers.

What’s ideal is to have vegetables from each color group. When planning your parents’ gardens, these are the vegetables to grow so that every color group is covered.


Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables release a sulfurous odor when cooked. Some people find them unpleasant for that reason. The health benefits make them a must for gardens. Some are easier to grow than others, however.

If your parents have sandy soil, turnips and rutabaga will grow well. If the soil is rocky, those cruciferous vegetables will compete for space with rocks. You may want to grow them in raised beds instead.

Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower are other cruciferous vegetables to consider. They do require a lot of water. You’ll also need to be proactive and keep cabbage moths and worms from devouring your growing crops.


Leafy Greens

Kale is one of the most popular leafy greens at the moment. It’s also a cruciferous vegetable, so it’s packed with nutrients that benefit your parents. Grow a few types of kale to have different options for salads, smoothies, and meals.

Other leafy greens you should consider are Swiss chard, spinach, and beet greens. As a bonus with beet greens, your parents get beets they can serve raw in salads, boil, or pickle later in the growing season.



Bell peppers come in different colors. Green is the color most people know as green peppers are readily available in stores. You can also get yellow, red, and purple bell peppers. Some peppers grow to be a kaleidoscope of colors and will have red, orange, and yellow streaks forming pretty patterns on the outer skin.

Don’t overlook chili peppers. Chinese Five Color Peppers grow well in containers. When the chili peppers ripen, they turn red, purple, orange, or yellow, which makes them colorful additions when you want to improve the home’s curb appeal.



Finally, tomatoes are low in calories and high in antioxidants. Grow a variety of them. You might want grape tomatoes for salads, plum tomatoes for homemade pasta sauces, and heirloom varieties for sandwiches.

Gardening is one way to get your parents outside during the spring, summer, and fall. If you worry about them losing track of time or carrying in crops, discuss home care services with them. They’ll live independently, but home care aides are there to help with tasks they need assistance completing. Call to learn more.


If you or someone you know needs hiring Homecare in St. Cloud, MN, contact Adara Home Health Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services for many fragile or senior members in the communities we serve. Call us at (888) 660-5772 for more information.