Canned vegetables and fruits, fish, beans and lentils, whole grains, and oatmeal are among the nutritious foods the Government of Canada’s website recommends for older adults. But what if your senior loved one simply doesn’t have a natural appreciation for any of these foods? Granted, unhealthy eating habits tend to develop earlier in life, but continuing to ignore beneficial foods later on can have some serious health consequences. Today, we’re going to offer some tips for helping seniors overcome obstacles to eating healthy.
Don’t Stick to the 3-Meals-a-Day Standard
It’s easy to overdo it with calories that aren’t entirely beneficial if your loved one strictly adheres to a schedule of three standard meals a day. Instead, consider encouraging your loved one to enjoy several smaller healthy meals throughout the day, a step that can also minimize the temptation to opt for unhealthy snacks between meals.
If preparing nutritious meals every day is challenging for your loved one, a professional caregiver can be a wonderful resource. Senior home 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.
Explore Options with Spices
Some seniors stray away from leafy green vegetables and other healthy foods because of age-related changes to taste buds that make such foods seem bland. One way to overcome complaints about a lack of flavor is to incorporate more flavorful spices into healthy dishes. Flavor-loaded options include ginger, cinnamon, and turmeric.
Make Healthy Meals More Colorful
Seniors sometimes shy away from healthy eating because meals don’t look appetizing, even if they actually taste pretty good. Older adults with Alzheimer’s may also have this problem because they have issues with how they process visual information. One way to address a lack of variety in meals is to get into the habit of filling up your loved one’s plate with an assortment of colorful foods that are healthy. Try the following options:
• Brightly colored fruits
• Richly hued whole grains
• Deeply hued berries
• Red tomatoes, orange carrots, and other colorful vegetables
Prepare More Home-Cooked Meals
It’s a lot easier to be mindful of what’s on the menu for the day when meals are made at home. This doesn’t mean your loved one has to forego eating out now and then, but it does provide the opportunity to make meal prep a more social activity when you invite friends and other family members to participate in the process.
A trained home caregiver can help your loved one plan and prepare nutritious meals. Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Calgary, AB, Home Care Assistance is a leader in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.
Don’t Make Healthy Eating Seem Like a Temporary “Diet”
If your approach to helping your loved one eat healthy is to provide reminders about what he or she can’t have, your parent may feel like he or she is “on a diet,” which implies a temporary adjustment rather than long-term positive lifestyle changes. Instead, help your loved one get into the right frame of mind about healthy eating by:
• Experimenting with healthy recipes to develop more of an appetite for healthy foods
• Suggesting healthy alternatives to foods he or she already enjoys (e.g., sweet potato wedges instead of potato chips, frozen yogurt instead of ice cream, and pita pockets instead of pizza)
• Embracing the same approach to healthy eating yourself
In Calgary, 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. Reach out to us at Home Care Assistance if you need compassionate, professional home care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at 403-301-3777.