One of the things you may do as a family caregiver for your older family member is ensure they are eating a healthy and balanced diet. Sometimes, though, that can be time-consuming and difficult, especially if you’re not so great at eating healthy yourself. Knowing some tips for healthy eating can take a little of the guesswork out of the task and make planning healthy meals for your aging relative a little easier. Here are some tips to help.
#1: Make Every Bite Count
Older adults often have smaller appetites than they once did, so they don’t eat as much. To make the most of what they do eat, make sure every bite is nutritious, including snacks. Instead of offering cookies or pastries, keep fruits and vegetables prepared and on hand for a quick snack. Yogurt, dried fruit, and whole grain crackers with low-fat cheese also make good snack choices.
#2: Use Plant Protein
To cut back on fat, occasionally serve meals that use plants for protein instead of meat. In fact, some people follow a “Meatless Monday” where they don’t eat meat on Mondays. This can give you a chance to try out alternative proteins, like tofu, beans, peas, and nuts. In addition to its health benefits, it can also slim the older adult’s food budget since meat is more expensive.
#3: Switch to Whole Grain
You might think there isn’t much difference from one bread or pasta to another, but there is. Instead of grabbing a loaf of white bread or some pasta made with refined grains, look for those that use whole grains instead. Not only do they contain more nutrients, but your aging relative might also like the taste better, too.
#4: Observe Portion Sizes
It’s easy to just fill up your older family member’s plate without thinking about portion sizes. However, this can lead to overeating. Many people are accustomed to “cleaning their plate” and may continue eating even when they are full. Instead of mindlessly filling the plate, measure out proper portion sizes. If they are still hungry, offer more vegetables to help fill them up.
#5: Offer Variety
Even if your older family member has tried and true favorites you know they’ll eat, it’s a good idea to mix things up and offer a wide variety of foods. That way, you can make sure they are getting enough of all the necessary nutrients. And, they just may discover some new favorites!
Home care can also help seniors to eat a healthier diet. If your aging relative has difficulty cooking for themselves, they may not be eating balanced meals. A home care provider can plan and prepare healthy and delicious meals each day or make some ahead of time to be warmed up. Home care providers can also go grocery shopping with the senior to assist them in making healthier choices.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Littleton, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare Denver. Call today: (303) 756-9322.