“A healthy balanced diet” is a motto we have been spoon-fed since our younger, more innocent days. While the value is imparted early on for most, nutrition is a full time job and a healthy diet should be prioritized even later on during your senior years! In fact, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, people over 50 should still eat hefty servings of fruits, veggies, grains, fats, and more daily! In more concrete numbers, the department recommends.
- 1 ½ – 2 ½ cups of fruits
- 2 – 3 ½ cups of vegetables
- 5-10 ounces of grains
- 5-7 ounces of protein sources
- 3 cups of fat-free or low fat milk
- 5-8 teaspoons of oils
If you find yourself wiping down your glasses and taking a bewildered second read at that list, you’re not alone! This can be a rather hefty amount of food groups and measurements to keep in mind! Taking into consideration that your senior is already pretty firmly cemented into their current eating habits, imposing a diet as sudden and as strict as this one can be rather daunting!
Fortunately, there are 3 tips you can employ today that’ll make your senior more receptive to their new diet!
1.) Adopt a “One For All” Approach For Meals
Eat with your senior and eat the same meal! That means no specially prepared dishes for any one member of your family. Eating is a social activity and nothing makes a diet seem more drastic and intrusive than a custom meal. Special treatment like this only alienates your senior from the rest of the family and paints the dietary shift as an unwelcome change!
If you’re looking after a senior and have their nutrition at heart, dust off that old recipe book! Come up with some healthy, nutritious, and diverse dishes that will please every member of the family and prove to your senior that this diet isn’t a change to dread, but one you can celebrate together!
2.) Break Out the Blender
With so many different foods and requirements to hit daily, what your senior needs is a couple of nutrient packed “super meals” filled with servings from multiple food groups! If you doubt your cooking ability then fear not, that’s where that old blender of yours comes in!
According to Aging Care, smoothies are a wonderful and innovative way to replace a meal with a nutrient and vitamin rich supplement! These power beverages can be stuffed with fruits and vegetables and can start checking some boxes on those daily intake requirements!
Want to kick it up one more notch? You can even add a little more to the smoothie’s nutritional value by throwing a healthy serving of wheat germ into the mix! With this simple inclusion, the smoothie can now deliver on some of the protein requirement your senior is responsible for taking!
3.) Up Your Salmon Game
Salmon is a super food in its own regard! Rich in both flavor and versatility, this seafood staple provides a heap of nutritional benefits! Two of the most notable benefits being its abundance of omega 3 fats and vitamin D, both nutrients that do wonders for a senior’s diet!
While we’ve been conditioned to believe “fat” is bad, there are in fact some good fats that can reinforce one’s health. Omega 3 fats are one such “good fat”. According to WebMD, omega 3 fats reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and even “slow the progression of macular degeneration”, a disease that strikes the vision of senior citizens.
Vitamin D is nothing to turn your head at either with its bountiful nutritional benefits! According to Dr. Arefa Cassoobhoy from WebMD, Vitamin D is vital for maintaining strong and healthy bones. The vitamin aids the body in more readily absorbing calcium while maintaining bone density. These amazing benefits can even help prevent osteoporosis!
And so, with so many nutrients and an amazing flavor profile, it’s easy to see why salmon can be a powerhouse inclusion into any diet! Brush up on some quick and delicious salmon recipes and get a head start on your senior’s improved health!
Keeping track of your own diet can be a rather tall hurdle without having to consider the nutrition of your loved one. Fortunately, with nutrient rich and delicious foods and smoothies, staying on top of your senior’s health doesn’t have to seem like a fruitless endeavor!
Regardless of what dietary changes are made, make sure they are done together as a family! Not only will this make everyone more receptive towards their new diet, it will hopefully inspire some creative innovation in the kitchen and at the dinner table!