If you are preparing meals for a senior loved one who prefers carbs to carrots (and honestly – who doesn’t?), you may find it difficult to improve a senior’s diet and see that their nutritional needs are being fulfilled. And you are not alone. Canada’s Heart and Stroke Foundation shares that over half of adults eat fewer than the recommended five servings of vegetables and fruit each day. Multiple studies have found that seniors who do follow these guidelines lower their risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic health problems, and subsequently live longer lives.
It might be time for you to think outside the box to encourage healthier eating habits. For instance:
Make it smooth. Sauces and smoothies are excellent ways to integrate a number of superfoods. You can create a refreshing, tasty drink by blending fresh fruit, yogurt and a handful of spinach. Or experiment with pureeing different veggies to mix in with marinara sauce: zucchini, kale, bell peppers, carrots, etc.
Make it crunchy. There are so many healthy alternatives to greasy potato chips for a crispy snack or as a side to enjoy with a sandwich. Pick up a few for the senior in order to see which ones are most satisfying: kale, sweet potato, eggplant, radish, beet, green bean, and much more. Or try freeze-dried fruit, another crunchy and nutritious solution.
Freeze it up. Create your own easy, healthy frozen snacks by blending fruit with a small amount of water or juice, pouring into popsicle molds, and freezing until solid. These also make a great multi-generational activity! Invite the family members over, let everyone choose their favorite flavor to make, and then spend some quality time together as you wait for them to chill before enjoying your personal creations.
Opt for convenience. Chopping, peeling, slicing, cooking – the many steps required to prepare some vegetables and fruit makes it easier to simply grab a prepackaged snack. Search for healthy alternatives that are just as easy to grab and enjoy, such as ready-to-eat salads, baby carrots, or other cleaned and sliced veggies, individual cups of fruit, bananas, etc.
Join a CSA. If you’ve never considered a CSA, now could be an ideal time to investigate this option. A CSA (community supported agriculture) is a subscription service for fresh produce from local farmers. Get more information and find a CSA in your area here.
Serenity Home Care’s caregivers are adept in preparing delicious, healthy meals in accordance with each person’s individual preferences, along with a full range of home care services for seniors. We are available to pick up all of the ingredients too! Just call us at 250.590.8058 for assistance with enhancing the health of a senior you love from the leading provider of help for seniors in Langford and the surrounding areas.