As we age, our bodies go through significant changes that require us to pay closer attention to our health. One of the key areas of focus is our diet, as it plays a crucial role in maintaining good health and preventing chronic illnesses. While it may seem daunting to make drastic changes to our eating habits, there are many small steps that we can take to improve our nutrition without sacrificing the foods we love.
If you have an aging loved one who is struggling to maintain a healthy diet, there are a few tips that can help them make gradual changes that will have a positive impact on their health:
1. Provide Healthier Snacks And Convenience Foods
When your loved one needs a quick snack, suggest they reach for pre-cut veggies or nuts instead of chips. It’s a simple way to enjoy a healthy meal or snack even when they’re short on time.
2. Make Time To Sit Down For Meals
Eating slowly can help your loved one reduce their calorie intake. If they live alone, recommend they invite a friend or professional caregiver over for meals. This way, they can enjoy their food at a leisurely pace and take the time to savour every bite.
3. Switch to Whole Grains
Encourage your loved one to switch to whole grain breads and pasta instead of white. It’s a simple and easy way to get more fibre and nutrients in their diet.
4. Salad Starters Before The Meal
If your loved one isn’t getting enough veggies, suggest they start their meal with a plate of leafy greens or chopped vegetable salad. But be careful not to add too much dressing, as this can make the salad less healthy.
5. Find Healthier Ways to Recreate Fried Foods
Fried foods are delicious, but they’re also high in fat and calories. Encourage your loved one to try baking or air frying their favourite foods to reduce the amount of grease and fat they consume.
6. Eat Your Fruit, Don’t Drink It
Eating whole fruit provides more fibre and nutrients than juice. Plus, it can help your loved one maintain stable blood sugar levels.
7. Homemade Is Best
Restaurant meals can be loaded with unhealthy fats and calories, so suggest your loved one cooks at home as much as possible. If they need help with meal preparation, consider hiring a professional caregiver with nutrition expertise.
8. Stay Hydrated
In addition to making changes to their meals, it is also important for your loved one to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. This can help keep their body functioning properly and improve their digestion, as well as reduce their risk of dehydration.
9. Eat Smaller Meals More Frequently
Finally, it can be helpful to encourage your loved one to eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day instead of relying on large meals. This can help prevent overeating and improve their digestion, as well as provide them with sustained energy throughout the day.
If you’re concerned about your loved one’s nutrition, consider reaching out to a professional caregiver for support. Saige Homecare offers respite care in Calgary, AB and our caregivers can help with meal planning and preparation, medication reminders, and other tasks that may be challenging for seniors. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our in-home care options.