We don’t need to tell you how important a healthy, balanced diet is for seniors. It’s something we’ve discussed before, but really it’s one of the basic principles of health. We learn from a very young age that it’s critical to maintain that balanced, healthy diet, but it grows increasingly more important to observe those healthy choices as we age.
With that in mind, we’ve gathered some of the best good eating tips to make sure the seniors in your care are consistently eating well.
Oftentimes, these “healthy” options are misleading for a variety of reasons. For example, these types of packaged foods and brands will typically contain a lot of sugar and/or fat, and the “healthy” option just features less of those bad things, but not necessarily an acceptable amount.
Other examples include things that are advertised as products that are packed with protein, but really don’t contain any more protein than a regular glass of milk. Many yogurt brands that advertise their protein and probiotic benefits fall into this category, when really the number of probiotics is negligible, especially when compared to how much sugar is packed into the treat.
This is mostly targeted for those seniors who have decreased appetites. If keeping weight on is an issue, try eliminating water at least an hour before meals and avoid drinking more than a very small cup’s worth during meals. Instead, save liquids for after a meal is finished to be sure they don’t feel too full and decide against eating.
Of course, it’s always key to stay hydrated. Starting with a glass of the water first thing in the morning (or after breakfast, if they’re the type that likes to eat shortly after waking), is a good way to rehydrate after a full night’s sleep without water. Having a bottle or glass next to them throughout the day is a good way to keep them drinking as well. Hydration plays a huge role in making sure things run properly in our bodies, so drinking enough water is very important.
Too much sodium can lead to a wide variety of serious ailments, including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure. As we age, our bodies don’t process these foods and ingredients as well, and with sodium already in most of the foods we eat when they are made, adding table salt into the mix can quickly lead to a dangerous situation. Try mixing things up by using other herbs and spices for flavor instead.
Simply following serving sizes and recommended daily intake values can go a long way. That means reducing sugars and fats, increasing lean proteins, vegetables and fruits that are packed with vitamins, and even enough carbs to give their body enough energy to get through the day and function properly.
Now that you have an idea of what nutrition requirements the seniors in your care need, did you know that cooking healthy meals is one of the things a Senior Helpers caregiver can provide? By investing in a Senior Helpers franchise, you could bring that care and more to your community and help people in need! If that sounds like an appealing option, click here to learn more or contact us today to speak with a representative!