If you’re preparing meals for a senior who prefers carbs to carrots (and honestly – who doesn’t?), you may find it challenging to verify that their nutritional needs are being attained. And you are not alone. The CDC shares that just one in ten seniors is meeting the recommendation of at least three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit each day. Multiple studies have revealed that older adults who do follow these guidelines lower their risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic health issues, and subsequently live longer lives. These benefits make it a perfect time to add fruits and vegetables to a senior’s diet.
It might also be time for you to think outside of the box to encourage healthier eating habits. For example:
Make it smooth. Sauces and smoothies are excellent ways to incorporate a variety of superfoods. You can easily create a nourishing, delicious drink by blending a little spinach, yogurt, and fresh fruit. Or experiment with pureeing a variety of veggies to mix in with marinara sauce: zucchini, kale, bell peppers, carrots, etc.
Make it crunchy. There are countless 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 to try and see which ones are most satisfying: kale, sweet potato, beet, radish, green bean, eggplant, and much more. Or try freeze-dried fruit, another nutritious and crunchy choice.
Freeze it up. Create your own easy, healthy frozen treats by blending fruit with a little juice or water, 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 while you wait for them to chill before enjoying your individual creations.
Opt for convenience. Slicing, peeling, chopping, cooking – the numerous steps needed to prepare some vegetables and fruits makes it easier to just grab a prepackaged snack. Try to find 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 thought about a CSA, now is an ideal time investigate this option. A CSA (community supported agriculture) is a subscription service for fresh produce from local farmers. Learn more and discover a CSA near you.
Golden Harmony’s caregivers are adept in preparing healthy, delicious meals according to each person’s unique preferences. We can pick up all of the ingredients too! Just contact us at 919-426-7522 to learn more about our professional in-home care in Raleigh and the surrounding areas and for assistance with enhancing the health of an older adult you adore.