A healthy diet can stave off heart disease, diabetes, and other health conditions that impact longevity. For many older adults, reaching their senior years provides a wake-up call that makes eating healthier more important. Switching to a more wholesome diet is easier with these tips for overcoming some of the most common challenges your elderly loved one may encounter.
1. Create a Weekly Menu
If your loved one has ever opted for fast food because he or she didn’t know what to cook, you can see why this tip is important. Creating a weekly menu helps you plan a balanced diet that allows your loved one to meet all his or her nutritional needs. For example, your loved one can eat more vitamin A-rich foods one day to compensate for eating fewer the day before. You’ll also benefit from knowing exactly which ingredients you need to pick up from the store.
2. Drink More Liquids
People often forget liquids are an important part of a senior’s diet. Drinking enough water keeps the digestive system functioning properly so your loved one gets more nutrients from food. Juice and smoothies can help you get more fruits and veggies into your loved one’s diet when he or she may not feel like eating a full meal.
A professional caregiver with expertise in nutrition can be a wonderful source of information and encouragement for your loved one. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust elderly home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.
3. Broaden the Diet with the Rainbow Method
You’ll often hear that seniors should eat a diverse range of foods, but most people stick to a few favorites. The rainbow method simply involves filling your loved one’s plate with foods of a variety of colors. This works great for salads, and you can also incorporate it into other meals. Try adding some blue and red and berries next to eggs and avocado for breakfast. Making it a goal to get as close to a rainbow as you can makes meals fun and healthier.
4. Use More Herbs & Spices for Seasoning
Seniors often think a healthy diet has to be tasteless, since this usually means cutting out the salt. Fortunately, you can make meals taste better than ever by adding more herbs and spices to your loved one’s diet. Chives, rosemary, and thyme are a few great herbs to keep on hand, and they all add some extra nutrition.
If your loved one needs helping planning and preparing nutritious meals, a professional caregiver can be a fantastic source of support. Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging to manage over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of respite care Montgomery seniors can depend on.
5. Know What a Proper Portion Looks Like
By now, you probably know large portions aren’t healthy, but you might be surprised to find out a proper portion is even smaller than you think. For example, a proper portion size of pasta is about 1/2 cup before it’s cooked. For lean meat, it’s 3 ounces. When in doubt, go heavier on the vegetables, and your loved one will fill up on those first.
6. Add More Fiber to the Diet
Fiber works a lot like water to help seniors stay fuller while moving food through their systems. Fiber-rich foods include beans and whole wheat, which also have nutritional benefits over processed low-fiber options. You might want to add fiber slowly to your loved one’s diet to avoid consequences such as gas until his or her body adjusts.
7. Try Prepping Meals in Advance
Following a healthy diet is so much easier when there are already nutritionally balanced meals in perfect proportions sitting right there in the fridge. If your loved one cannot cook, consider hiring a caregiver to do the meal prep. Then all your loved one has to do is heat the meals up and enjoy the easiest method for following a healthy diet.
A professional caregiver with expertise in nutrition can be a terrific asset for seniors who are adopting healthier lifestyle habits. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of in-home care. Montgomery families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. To learn about our high-quality in-home care options, give us a call at (334) 593-3988 today.