For those in senior care, food has to be two things: delicious and nutritious. While nutrition is of huge importance during this stage of life, now is not the time to attempt to introduce seniors to unfamiliar foods. Meal prepping can remove the guesswork, time, and frustration that can sometimes come along with this process.
Why Does It Matter?
There are hundreds of elements that go into proper senior care, and food can often fall by the wayside. For many family members, it can feel like half the battle is finding things seniors want to eat. However, when it comes to reducing the risks of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, nutrition is the first line of defense. Luckily, meal prepping can reduce the hassle involved in getting those in senior care to eat right.
Taste & Texture
The palettes of those in senior care may change over the years, as may their ability to eat and digest certain foods. By adding herbs, spices, onions, and garlic, it's easy to avoid excess salt. For seniors who have difficulty chewing, try using soft canned fruit like applesauce and peaches. Those returning from a stay in the hospital may not have a strong appetite; incorporate classic favorites into the meal prep to add some love and excitement back to the menu. These comfort food favorites can be a great way for loved ones with conditions like dementia or Alzheimer's to feel comforted.
Keep an Eye on Vitamins
A well-planned diet can ensure older adults maintain proper nutrition, consuming nutrients that are often lacking in senior care. Include foods rich in folic acids, such as spinach, asparagus, and lentils. B-12 can be found in turkey and salmon. Vitamin D is present in canned salmon, egg yolks, soy milk, and fortified orange juice. Finally, essential fatty acids can be found in flaxseed oil, oysters, herring, salmon, trout, and crab.
Meal prepping may not mean cooking every single meal in advance. It may simply be planning out ingredients or doing necessary chopping and washing at the beginning of the week to prevent wasting time later on. Essentially, spending one day preparing as much as possible will save much of the planning associated with home care down the road. Seeking proper nutrition for those in senior care is essential, but it doesn't have to be difficult.
For more information, call SYNERGY HomeCare of Fairfield at (203) 923-8866.