There’s a lot of advice out there about what people need to eat to be healthy or lose weight. You may wonder if what constitutes a healthy diet changes as people age. Knowing what to serve your aging relative can be confusing and difficult, particularly if you’re unsure what a healthy diet is. Below are some tips for providing your older adult with a nutritious, balanced diet to support good overall health.
Know What a Healthy Plate Looks Like
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers a resource on the website choosemyplate.gov that shows what a healthy plate looks like. It includes a graphic that indicates how much of each food group should be on the plate. Essentially, half the plate should be covered with fruits and vegetables, one quarter with proteins, and one quarter with grains. Keeping that in mind can help you to plan and plate healthy meals.
Shop the Produce Aisle
A healthy diet at any age is one that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables. Serve a wide variety of produce in lots of different colors. This helps to ensure the older adult gets all the nutrients they need. Seniors should eat at least 2 or 3 servings of both fruits and vegetables each day. Be sure to include leafy greens, like spinach and kale, as well since they contain protective antioxidants.
Pack in the Nutrients
Because older adults often have smaller appetites, it’s important that every meal is full of the nutrients they need. Avoid serving foods that contain empty calories, like sweets and sugary beverages. Of course, it’s okay to serve a treat now and then, just limit them to once in a while.
Serve Healthy Fats
The body needs some fat to stay healthy, but the kinds of fat your aging relative eats can make a big difference in their health. Avoid trans fats and saturated fats in favor of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Some sources of healthy fats include fish and avocados.
Remember Eating Well Isn’t Just About Food
Eating alone on a regular basis can be lonely and depressing for seniors. It can result in them just not feeling like eating. As often as possible, find ways for them to share mealtimes with other people. A weekly family dinner can be a great way for the older adult to stay involved in the goings on of grandchildren and other family members.
Senior care can make certain your aging relative is eating a healthy, balanced diet on a regular basis. Senior care providers can assist with the grocery shopping and cook the meals. A senior care provider can also offer companionship during mealtimes, chatting with the older adult and making the meal more enjoyable.
If You Or An Aging Loved One Are Considering Hiring Senior Care in Largo, FL, Please Contact The Caring Staff At Assisting Hands Home Care Today! 727-748-4211.