Many seniors grew up being taught to view desserts as treats they got after they ate unappetizing vegetables. Although it can be difficult to change the mindset that healthy foods aren’t as tasty as other options, it’s possible to overcome this attitude. These six ideas are all great ways to help seniors change their perspective about healthy eating so they can enjoy better wellbeing.
1. Stop Viewing Healthy Food as Boring
Your senior loved one might turn his or her nose up at the thought of eating a plate full of steamed vegetables. However, your parent might not balk at experimenting with new recipes that include healthy foods. If your loved one enjoys culture or history, suggest trying out a few ethnic dishes. Many of these dishes stick to using unprocessed foods with delicious spices that can make a meal feel more like a treat.
2. Keep Fresh Food Stocked
Eating healthy requires more effort than snacking on junk food does. For instance, fresh fruits and vegetables expire faster than processed foods, which could be a challenge if your loved one doesn’t drive. Make sure your loved one has assistance with getting groceries so he or she doesn’t resort to eating unhealthy foods.
A home caregiver can help your loved one with grocery shopping as well as planning and preparing nutritious meals. Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Green Valley, AZ, Embrace In-Home Care are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.
3. Try Prepping Meals
Seniors are just as likely as younger adults to eat unhealthy foods when they’re tired, sick, or overly busy. Prepping meals in advance can keep your loved one’s refrigerator stocked with things he or she can heat up in an instant, such as rice and vegetable bowls. You can also pre-chop vegetables for your loved one to throw into a stew or salad when he or she is short on time.
If regularly preparing nutritious meals for your loved one is challenging for you, a professional caregiver can be a wonderful resource. Senior care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Embrace In-Home Care are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
4. Share a Common Goal
Seniors may find it easier to stay motivated to eat healthy when they feel like someone else depends on them to keep working toward the goal. If you don’t currently eat healthy either, consider making a deal with your loved one that you’ll both add more fresh foods to your diets. Your loved one might enjoy making a new recipe once a week with a caregiver or choosing a new restaurant that has healthy menu options. Working with other people makes eating well more fun and meaningful.
5. Grow a Garden
It might be more effective to try to influence your loved one’s mindset with subtle actions rather than constantly nagging him or her about eating healthy. Grab some soil, seeds, and flowerpots and help your loved one start growing some healthy food. Your parent may be more likely to snip off a few leaves of fresh herbs rather than reach for the salt when he or she feels a sense of pride from growing his or her own food.
6. Enjoy a Treat Now & Then
You don’t want your loved one to feel deprived, because that could cause him or her to overindulge when temptation strikes. Encourage your loved one to go ahead and eat that occasional slice of cake, provided his or her doctor says it’s fine. Eating a few treats in moderation makes them seem less tempting, and it can make it easier for your loved one to stick to a healthy diet the rest of the time.
In Green Valley, home care service agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Embrace In-Home Care, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. Our caregivers encourage seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. Call one of our Care Managers at (520) 625-2050 to learn about our customized in-home care plans.