Everyone knows the significance of adhering to a healthy and balanced diet; nonetheless, knowing and doing in many cases are worlds apart. For older adults, it is even more vital to steer clear of the temptations of making unhealthy food choices – and, typically more challenging. For most seniors, lifestyle choices are impacted by various factors:
- Prescription complications that influence taste and/or appetite
- Loss of family members, making mealtime a lonely time
- Lack of interest in cooking for only one
- And others
But there is one prevailing – yet little mentioned – explanation for unhealthy eating in seniors: financial constraints. Older adults on a budget may find it challenging to afford fresh, healthy foods, that commonly cost a lot more than a fast food meal or can of soup. These healthy eating tips for seniors from the National Council on Aging can help:
- Bear in mind that sticking with a wholesome diet can considerably improve health, with the possibility of preventing doctor visits and hospitalizations – saving older adults money in the end.
- See if a senior you love is eligible for SNAP, a government program that covers the cost for fresh foods, such as vegetables and fruits. Go to BenefitsCheckUp.org to determine eligibility. The average benefit to seniors is $100/month.
- Check into the older adult’s local Meals on Wheels program, which provides nutritious meals to the elderly, along with the added benefit of a friendly volunteer who will deliver the food and improve socialization.
- If throwing away fresh food is a worry for an older adult who lives alone, frozen vegetables and fruits are a good option, making it possible for quick preparation of individual-sized portions.
Keep the following in mind to make sure your older loved ones are making the very best food choices:
- Review the USDA’s ChooseMyPlate for the elderly with specific dietary and exercise suggestions for individuals 65 and older.
- Aim for a plethora of colors, specifically brightly-colored foods such as tomatoes, carrots, peppers, eggplant, pumpkin, etc.
- Include lean proteins, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products, keeping sodium and sugar to a minimum while ensuring plenty of high fiber and nutrients which can be particularly essential in aging, such as vitamin D.
Turn to the aging care specialists at Hearts at Home In-Home Care to get more ideas to help the older adults you love make and keep good nutrition habits. We are always available to assist with grocery shopping, meal planning and preparation, and making sure the home is stocked with plenty of healthy and balanced choices, along with sharing mealtimes with older adults to ensure they are more enjoyable. We’ll even tidy up the kitchen afterwards! Give us a call at 913-440-4209 for more information about our top-rated home care services in Kansas City and the surrounding communities.