While there is something to be said for eating more raw veggies, cutting sugars, and avoiding starchy foods, Sonoma home care professionals stress that it’s just as important to have a general idea of how to approach meal preparations, meal structuring, and food selections as a senior. Here are four food rules you and your senior loved one can follow to get the most out of the daily joy of eating.
1. Reduce Portions and Eat More Often
Regardless of age, most people tend to nibble on the things they shouldn’t be eating between meals. By reducing the portions your senior loved one has with each meal, he or she can eat more often while maintaining a healthy weight and reducing between-meal cravings. Consider using smaller plates (8-inch salad plates instead of 12-inch dinner plates) and serving the salad first so your loved one isn’t as hungry when the dinner is served.
2. Drink More Water Between Meals, Limit Water During Meals
Many seniors have digestion issues, which may be compounded by drinking too much water during meals. Water dilutes digestive enzymes, making it more difficult to digest foods. By drinking more water between meals, seniors are still properly hydrated when mealtime comes around. Consider warm beverages during meals instead of cold drinks (herbal teas tend to be especially beneficial) to further aid with digestion.
3. Choose Colorful Seasonal Fruits and Veggies
There’s no sense in loading up on a bunch of greens that won’t be eaten beyond a few nibbles. If you go with colorful fruits and veggies that are in season, it’s a safe bet to assume your loved one will be getting all the nutrients he or she needs. At the same time, he or she will be enjoying a colorful plate that’s more appetizing. Consider making a habit of stopping at local farmers’ markets–it’s an excuse to get out and mingle and way for your loved one to pick and choose fruits and veggies he or she actually likes.
4. Eat at Regular Times
Some studies suggest that eating at regular times improves digestion. Keeping to a steady schedule also gives your loved one something to look forward while serving as a natural way to break up the day. Consider letting your loved one help with the menu planning–and being somewhat flexible when it comes to occasional meal requests that stray a little from his or her normal diet.
For more information on senior health and wellness, turn to the dedicated staff at Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of hourly and live-in home care, as well as dementia, Parkinson’s, and post-stroke care for seniors in Sonoma. All of our care services are backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee and include the use of our Balanced Care Method, which focuses on physical, mental, and emotional health. Give us a call at (707) 843.4368 to learn more.