Our diets play a major role in our overall health and as we age, our diets change as our nutritional needs change. For seniors, it is crucial that they receive adequate nutrients and adjust their diet in order to reduce the odds of developing certain health conditions. It may be time to step in and help your loved one with meals when they can no longer get to the grocery store as easily, cooking is becoming harder or dangerous, or they simply aren’t eating enough and are lacking in nutrients.
One of the ways to help ensure your senior is getting the proper nutrients and eating right is to make a meal plan for the week. That way, both you and your loved one have something to follow and you don’t have to worry about what to make each day. Here are some tips and tricks that we have pulled together to help guide you towards making the best nutritional decisions for your senior:
- A balanced meal should include lean protein, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy.
- As we age, our metabolism slows down, so the number of calories needed is lower. Keep this in mind to prevent overeating and obesity.
- Reduce the amount of sodium and saturated fats in the diet to prevent high blood pressure and heart disease.
- Ensure your loved one is getting enough Calcium and Vitamin D to promote strong bones. Bones become very brittle with age, so Calcium and Vitamin D is essential.
- Increase fiber intake, especially if the senior is having trouble passing stools
- Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate. Water is critical to our health, and it is even more important to increase the amount of water intake as we age.
- Limit processed sugars
- Especially if your loved one is taking medications that suppress their appetite, or they are lacking the motivation to eat, changing up their diet and meals can truly make a difference. Adding different spices and herbs is a great way to mix things up.
- Get creative. If your loved one refuses to eat certain things, try making smoothies that are rich in nutrients and supplements.
If you or your loved one is unable to come up with a meal plan or don’t have the time to prep and create adequate meals, a food delivery service is always an option. Many food delivery services will cater to seniors and their health needs and are great options for those who cannot easily get to the grocery store or prepare their own food.
Whether you are preparing meals for your loved one or using a food delivery service, it is important that they eat a well-balanced diet with adequate nutrients. It’s also very beneficial to have a plan laid out for the week so you and your loved one know exactly what to expect.