Helping Your Elderly Loved One Eat Well this SpringMarch 24, 2023
Helping Your Elderly Loved One Eat Well this Spring
Spring is a time of renewal and growth, and it’s important to make sure your elderly loved one is eating well during this season. Good nutrition is essential for maintaining good health, especially for seniors who are more susceptible to health problems.
Thankfully, healthy eating is a little easier in the spring. Fresh fruits and vegetables populate the shelves, allowing us the opportunity to try healthier, delicious meals. If you’re helping your elderly loved one eat well this spring, remember these tips.
Educate them on what a balanced diet looks like
A balanced diet is essential for seniors to get the nutrients they need on a daily basis. Though you may not be able to make their plate look like this every day, in general, meals should be broken into these key percentages: ½ vegetables and fruit, ¼ whole grains, and ¼ lean protein.
Mix up what foods you incorporate into their meals every day to keep things interesting. In addition to these food families, use healthy plant oils (such as olive oil) in cooking.
Introduce new foods into their diet
Spring is a great time to introduce new foods to your loved one’s diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables are in season and offer a variety of flavors and textures. By incorporating these flavors into your dishes, you’ll keep mealtime exciting for your loved one.
Seasonal produce in their meals, such as strawberries, asparagus, and artichokes are fantastic to add to more dishes than you may think. These foods are not only nutritious, but also offer a variety of flavors that can help keep your loved one’s meals interesting and appealing.
Encourage healthy snacking
Many make the mistake of eating healthy meals but indulging in less-than-healthy snacks. While they may taste good, these options don’t actually provide seniors the energy boost they need between meals. So, avoid offering high-fat, high-sugar snacks that can negatively impact their health and instead provide fresh fruit, yogurt, and whole grain crackers are great foods to snack on throughout the day.
Staying hydrated is crucial to each of our bodily functions. As the weather gets warmer, seniors may be more susceptible to dehydration. Encourage your loved one to drink plenty of water and other liquids to stay hydrated. Instead of sugary drinks and drinks high in dairy, offer them water, coffee, and tea. If they do have juice, make sure it’s 100% fruit juice.
Pay attention to nutrition labels
Some pre-packaged goods might advertise that they are healthy, but their nutrition label tells a different story. Before you purchase anything off the grocery store shelves, take a few moments to read the label. Are the sugar and salt levels higher than you anticipated? Are there ingredients you weren’t expecting and potential allergens? You should maybe second guess purchasing it then.
Inspire them to get active
Physical activity is important to do in the first place, but it is also great for their relationship to food, as it can increase their appetite. Encourage them to get outside and enjoy the warm weather. Going for walks, gardening, and playing with grandchildren are all great ways to stay active that don’t feel like serious exercise.
An at-home caregiver can help them stay healthy this spring
A healthy diet and lifestyle can help your loved one stay active and independent. With your help and support, they can enjoy a happy and healthy spring season. But for those times you can’t be with them, an at-home caregiver can help. These professionals can be essential assets for seniors who want to maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle in the comfort of their own homes. With their help, seniors can enjoy nutritious meals and stay mentally and socially active.
If you are considering the benefits of having an at-home caregiver, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 773-274-9262. Our team is committed to providing top-notch care and support to seniors. We would be happy to assist you with any questions you have so you can make the best decision for your loved one.
Alternatively, if you already provide care to your loved one and are curious whether or not you can receive compensation, we’d love to speak with you about our family caregiver program.
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