If you’re preparing meals for a senior who prefers carbs to carrots (and honestly – who doesn’t?), you could find it challenging to guarantee that their nutritional needs are being achieved. And you’re not alone. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention shares that just one in ten seniors is meeting the recommendation for at least two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables each day. Multiple research reports have revealed that those who do follow these guidelines reduce their risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic health conditions, and subsequently live longer.
It might 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 integrate a variety of superfoods. You can easily create a refreshing, tasty drink by blending yogurt, fresh fruit, and a handful of spinach. Or play with pureeing a variety of veggies to mix in with marinara sauce: zucchini, carrots, kale, bell peppers, etc.
Keep it crunchy. There are so many nutritious alternatives to greasy potato chips for a crispy snack or as a side to enjoy with a sandwich. Pick up several for the older adult in order to see which ones are most satisfying: sweet potato, kale, eggplant, radish, beet, green bean, and more. Or try freeze-dried fruit, another nutritious and crunchy option.
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 an excellent 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.
Go for convenience. Chopping, peeling, slicing, cooking – the many steps required to prepare some fruits and vegetables make it much simpler to simply grab a prepackaged snack. Look for healthy alternatives that are just as easy to grab and enjoy, such as baby carrots, ready-to-eat salads, or other cleaned and sliced veggies, individual cups of fruit, bananas, etc.
Join a CSA. If you have never considered a CSA, now could be the right time to explore this option. A CSA (community supported agriculture) is a membership service for fresh produce from local farmers. Learn more, and discover a CSA in your area here.
Home Sweet Home In-Home Care’s experts in elder care in Kalamazoo and the surrounding Michigan communities are skilled in preparing healthy, delicious meals in accordance with each person’s individual preferences. We are able to pick up all of the ingredients too! Just reach out to us at (866) 229-2505 for help with enhancing the health of a senior you love. For a full list of all the communities we serve, please visit our Locations page.