Eating nutritious meals is especially important for older adults because they need to consume foods loaded with nutrients such as vitamin D to prevent bone loss and antioxidants to reduce macular degeneration. Keeping fat and sodium consumption in check can also prevent heart disease and other conditions seniors tend to be more susceptible to developing with age. The following are a few strategies you can use to plan and prepare delicious and nutritious meals for your loved one’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Some nutrition experts claim breakfast is the most important meal of the day and should only consist of healthy foods. This is especially true for aging adults because many need help regulating their metabolism and appetite, and they could often use a healthy boost of energy when they wake up. There’s a huge selection of nutrient-rich and cost-effective foods you can add to your senior loved one’s breakfast. Your loved one can still enjoy occasional treats like bacon for breakfast. However, a typical breakfast should include grains coupled with some fruits for vitamins and antioxidants. Consider the following nutritious breakfast suggestions:
- Oatmeal (with half a banana and a little maple syrup for flavor)
- Cereals (in their natural whole grain form)
- Breakfast frittata (use omega-3–rich eggs for added nutrients)
- Scrambled eggs (make them even healthier with some sliced tomatoes, peppers, onions, and other fresh vegetables)
If you’re concerned about your loved one’s ability to prepare healthy meals independently, a professional caregiver can be a great resource. When considering elderly home care, Orlando, FL, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits.
Seniors who like to eat substantial breakfasts may not prefer larger meals at lunchtime. Coming up with lunch ideas for older adults can be challenging. After all, you need to try to find appealing ways to help your loved one avoid processed meats and other types of food that tend to be used for lunches. To maintain a proper nutritional balance, consider low-sodium seasonal soups or sandwiches made with lean turkey or tuna on whole wheat bread. These items are often full of nutrients and filling enough to last until the next meal.
Aging adults may require assistance with meal preparation and other daily activities. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of homecare. Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
The key to planning nutrient-rich meals, at least ones your loved one will actually eat, is to mix things up. Try serving different sides or having fish on some days instead of meat. Some dinner basics to consider:
- Fish (at least 2 portions per week)
- Lean meats (skinless poultry, pork, and lamb)
- Steamed vegetables and long-grain rice (contains less starch)
- Stir-fry (consider a vegetarian option with eggplant)
- Salad (just about any salad can be healthy as long as you watch the dressing selection)
Note: Meats should be grilled, poached, baked, or broiled for added health benefits.
Snacks should be light to avoid affecting your loved one’s appetite. The right snack selections can also provide a nutritional boost between full meals. Try these:
- Greek yogurt
- Apples and oranges (sliced)
- Antioxidant-rich fruits (blueberries, strawberries, grapes, kiwi)
If you’re unable to assist your loved one with meal preparation on a regular basis, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Every senior has different needs when aging in place. Some simply need occasional assistance with household chores, while others may be managing a serious illness and require more extensive live-in care. Altamonte Springs seniors can count on Home Care Assistance to provide the in-home care they need and deserve. If your loved one needs professional care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. To hire a compassionate, dedicated caregiver, call us at (407) 232-7155 today.