If you are preparing meals for a senior who prefers carbs to carrots (and honestly – who doesn’t?), you might find it challenging to guarantee that their nutritional needs are being met. And you are not alone. Canada’s Heart and Stroke Foundation shares that slightly more than half of Canadian adults eat less than the recommended five servings of fruit and vegetables each day. Multiple studies have revealed that seniors who do follow a healthier senior diet that meets these guidelines reduce their risk for diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic health conditions, and subsequently live longer lives.
Perhaps it is the perfect time to think outside the box to promote healthier eating habits. For instance:
Make it smooth. Sauces and smoothies are great ways to incorporate a variety of superfoods. You can easily create a refreshing, delicious drink by blending a little spinach, yogurt and fresh fruit. Or experiment with pureeing an assortment of vegetables to blend in with marinara sauce: zucchini, kale, bell peppers, carrots, etc.
Make it crunchy. There are countless nutritious alternatives to greasy potato chips for a crispy snack or as a side to enjoy with a sandwich. Pick up a few for the older adult to try and see which ones are most satisfying: kale, sweet potato, eggplant, radish, beet, green bean, and much more. Or try freeze-dried fruit, another nutritious and crunchy solution.
Freeze it up. Make your own simple, healthy frozen snacks by blending fruit with a small amount of water or juice, pouring into popsicle molds, and freezing until solid. These also make a great multi-generational activity! Invite the family members over, let everyone select their favorite flavor to make, and then spend some quality time together as you wait for them to chill before enjoying your personal creations.
Opt for convenience. Chopping, peeling, slicing, cooking – the many steps required to prepare some vegetables and fruits makes it easier to just grab a prepackaged snack. Consider healthy alternatives which are just as easy to grab and enjoy, for example, 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 is the right time to explore this option. A CSA (community supported agriculture) is a subscription service for fresh produce from local farmers. Discover more and discover a CSA near you here.
As the top provider of Windsor, Ontario home care services, Amy’s Helping Hands’ caregivers are skilled in preparing healthy, delicious meals in accordance with each person’s individual preferences. We are available to pick up all of the ingredients too! Just contact us online or at 519-915-4370 for a free in-home assessment to learn how we can help with enhancing the health of an older adult you love with customized in-home care services.