The concept of healthy eating takes on a whole new meaning in the senior years. In his or her younger days, your aging parent might have needed to eat more calories to keep up with a rigorous work or training schedule. Now, your loved one might need to scale back. Seniors should also pack plenty of nutrients into each meal to address changes in their health. When trying to eat healthier, simple changes can have a dramatic impact. In fact, making a healthy diet as easy as possible with these tips means your loved one will be more likely to follow it.
Fill Half the Plate with Fruits & Vegetables
Instead of filling the whole plate with meat and fried foods, seniors should fill half of it with fruits and vegetables. Keep in mind that side of the plate should be heavier on the vegetables. About 40 percent of this section should be vegetables, and 10 percent can be fruit to keep your loved one from experiencing an overload of sugar.
A professional caregiver with expertise in nutrition can be a wonderful source of information and encouragement for your loved one. Senior home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.
Switch to Lower-Fat Milk
Whole milk is often best for young children who need the extra fat, but seniors might be loading their diets with more fat than they need if they drink milk regularly. Switching to lower-fat milk can be done gradually by starting with 2 percent milk, then serving 1 percent milk, and finally switching to skim milk. Your parent can also experiment with plant-based milks, which tend to be lower in fat.
Drink Infused Water
Ditching sodas helps seniors cut out sugar, caffeine, and empty calories all at once, and if your loved one usually drinks more than a can or two of soda a day, he or she will notice the impact on his or her health quickly. For some people, giving up soda is difficult. Your loved one may find it easier by drinking infused water. Just soak strawberries, oranges, and other fruit in water. If your loved one needs that fizz, use seltzer water to create a tasty substitute he or she will love just as much as soda.
Pay Attention to Sodium Levels
Your parent might need to lower his or her salt intake, especially if he or she already has high blood pressure or heart disease. Since salt is often hidden in many foods, check the nutrition labels. Many low-sodium products are clearly labeled, and your loved one won’t even notice the lack of salt if he or she picks out flavourful foods, such as soup. For canned vegetables, choose low-sodium products and add flavour with fresh herbs and spices.
If your loved one needs help 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 Oakville seniors can depend on.
Rethink Easy Nights
Over the years, seniors might have found restaurants they hit every time they felt too tired to cook, or they might have gotten in the habit of just ordering pizza. Your loved one can still enjoy a healthy diet on busy days by planning ahead. Meal preparation services for seniors include freezer lunches and dinners that only need to be reheated. Knowing he or she can just toss one in the oven or microwave saves your loved one from eating unhealthy foods when he or she is too tired to cook.
If your loved one finds it challenging to follow a healthy diet, consider enlisting the help of a professional home caregiver. In Oakville, elder care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us at (905) 337-1200 to create a customized in-home care plan.