The food we eat is a major factor in our healthiness, and this impact is more prominent for senior health. Help your older relatives take back control of their diet with these seven nutritional tips! You might have to be the enforcer, but they will be better off for your effort.
1. Setup a Meal Plan
If you’re not taking control of the meal plan, then you likely have no idea how much of each nutrient and mineral is in the diet. You can still add in wiggle room for when you’re just not in the mood for eating or preparing a specific meal.
2. Eliminate Processed Foods When Possible
When a food is processed, it is altered from its original state and turned into something similar yet new. Processing has played a vital role in many of our foods, but excessive processing can include preservatives and other chemicals that have questionable effects on the body. You don’t have to completely remove processed foods, but you should be aware of their makeup and be willing to opt for a minimally processed alternative. Peanut butter, for example, can be purchased in shelf-stable versions with additives or a pure blend of grounded peanuts.
3. Embrace Variety
When constructing your meal plan, try to include new takes on old dishes and work to incorporate new ingredients with health benefits. By altering the way a specific meal is prepared, you can add new nutrient sources to the diet. Save at least one meal of every type for a new dish each week to establish a habit of trying out fresh flavors.
4. Limit Eating Out
An occasional trip to the diner or burger joint for a treat can be great, but too many meals out on the town can contribute to dietary problems. If they are eating out more than once a week, try to cut back on the number.
5. Use Prepared Meals in Place of Fast Food and Frozen Meals
To avoid the urge to disregard tip #4, spend a day each week preparing three to five frozen meals that can be thrown into the oven or microwave. Having a lazier alternative to making a trip out to the restaurant can be better persuasion than any amount of cajoling.
6. Watch The Liquids
Most people don’t come close to drinking enough water, and the other liquids that makeup large portions of a diet (namely soda, coffee, and juices) can contribute a significant portion of the calories. Include drinks in the plan as elements of the meal and add in goals for water consumption throughout the day.
7. Share Meals with Them
The best way to encourage a good diet is to participate in it yourself. Contribute to selecting the ingredients, preparing the meal, and especially enjoying it. With your help, your loved ones will be more likely to follow a nutritional plan that’s conducive to good senior health.
Bonus Tip! Bring in Help
Managing a meal plan can be a full-time job on its own. If you would like to help improve your elder’s nutritional routine but don’t have the time, consider hiring the professional in-home care specialist at Dynamic Nursing. With their help, a healthy diet can be a cinch.