Proper nutrition is extremely important for all people, but it becomes especially important as we age.
If you’re a senior or a caregiver, we have 5 tips to make sure you have a well-balanced diet, every day of the week.
#1 Plan in Advance & Thoughtfully
Figuring out “what should I eat?” will be less frustrating with a little bit of preparation! We recommend planning all your meals for an entire week and getting all the grocery shopping done at once.
If you put in a little extra effort, you can plan your meals so that no ingredients are wasted at the end of the week. For example, let’s say you want to have a rotisserie chicken on Monday night. You can plan to use the leftover bones and meat to make a hearty soup later in the week.
#2 Pre-Prepped Ingredients
As we get older, some things take more energy and effort—including cooking.
Your local grocery store has solutions to make prepping your meals easier. Next time you or your caregiver visit the store, consider these options:
- Frozen vegetables that are already diced or julienned.
- Fresh fruit that is already prepared; for example, sliced apples or cubed watermelon.
- Pre-sliced meats and cheeses from the grocery’s deli.
#3 Have Healthy Snacks Available
There may be some days when you aren’t able to cook an entire meal; that’s when it’s important to have healthy snacks stocked up and ready to go.
We have some ideas for you to keep in the pantry, fridge, or freezer:
- Prepared tuna snacks
- Hummus and crackers
- Frozen berries and yogurt
- Protein and granola bars
- Nuts and dried fruit
#4 Consider Your Needs
Most older folks have unique dietary needs that should be considered when meal planning. Talk to your doctor about ways you can naturally increase the amount of fibre and vitamins in your diet to fit your needs. You may also need to include supplements in your routine.
We do have some basic rules of the thumb to consider:
- Limit your sugar and salt intake (use fresh herbs and spices instead).
- Keep on top of your water intake—we tend to forget to drink our water as we get older.
- Eat healthy fats, like olive oil, avocados, and eggs.
#5 Ask for Help
Never be afraid to ask for help from your family, friends, or professionals. Your health is extremely important, so make sure you don’t let your nutrition slip if cooking or grocery shopping becomes too difficult.Nurses on Demand can help with your meal planning, preparation, and shopping. Reach out today to ask for help.