Finding the perfect nutritious menu for oneself can be quite a challenge, but getting one for another—especially someone who has a particularly strong penchant for greasy foods—can be a whole other conundrum. If you’re trying to help your beloved parents practice healthy eating habits, this blogpost is for you!
1. Research avidly.
If we’re willing to look up the restaurants with the best prices and best quality, why not do the same for our loved ones, especially the ones who nurtured you? Go the extra mile by being familiar with the stores with organic foods, and restaurants that use top-notch ingredients. Does your old man enjoy that salad along with too much dressing? Does that fast food meat even qualify as real meat? Does that “healthy” snack contain a vile amount of high-fructose corn syrup? Get your parents to be students of Nutrition Facts and food labels. It’s pretty fun, too!
2. Sit them down and have the talk.
Swaying someone from their favorite heart-attack-inducing foods is often difficult, and may get very messy; however, recognizing that it is a necessary confrontation will help you stand your ground. Remembering you are trying to save a life or lives—the very ones of your precious folks—is crucial. Don’t mince words about obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Help your parents grasp the gravity of the situation; at the same time, help them count the cost, and fully mourn with them what they will lose: their high-sodium morsels and processed foods. Spend enough downtime with them; give them the love and encouragement they need from you.
3. Have a blast with the alternatives!
Here comes the fun part. Whether it’s grocery-shopping with your parents to help them grab those fiber-rich snacks or making a list of fruits and veggies that they enjoy, you can collaborate with your parents to come up with a meal plan that suits them. Show them a world devoid of preservatives and additives! Let them pick out their favorites from the shelves. Recommend those lesser known items that have done wonders for your own health and share those health hacks that you’ve picked up.
4. Hold them accountable.
Now that your folks themselves realize that what they put into their bodies really matters, their relationship to their food should inevitably be affected, right? Well, it’s easier said than done. In order to truly reap the benefits for the long haul, discipline must be established. Check in with your parents regularly, and ask them how they are keeping up with their goals. “Are you skipping the sugar when eating cereal, Dad? Is the juice in the fridge freshly squeezed or artificial, Mom?” The best and most effective way to change your own eating habits is to become fully convinced about your need to change; the same goes for your parents. Remind them if they seem to forget. Patience is key.
Strategize, strategize, and strategize. Meal preparation and nutrition takes work and sacrifice. Your parents were there to feed you only the best, and now you can return the favor. Have their back by giving them those words of praise when they stick by their new meal plan. And if they slip up, don’t be harsh; bear with them just like they bear with you. For more advice, call on Home Instead Senior Care today!