If a senior you love prefers carbs over carrots, it can be difficult to figure out how to help fulfill their nutritional needs. And you are not alone. The CDC shares that just one in 10 older adults meet the recommendation for at least two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables every day. Numerous studies have revealed that older adults who do follow these guidelines reduce their risk for diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic health issues, and ultimately live longer.
It may be the right time to experiment with creative ideas to improve senior diets by incorporating more fruits and veggies. For example:
Choose convenience. Slicing, peeling, chopping, cooking – the many steps necessary to prepare some vegetables and fruits makes it easier to just grab a prepackaged snack. Seek out healthy alternatives which are typically just as easy to grab and enjoy, such as baby carrots, ready-to-eat salads, or other cleaned and sliced veggies, individual cups of fruit, bananas, etc.
Keep it crunchy. There are so many nutritious alternatives to greasy potato chips for a crispy snack or as a side to enjoy with a sandwich. Pick up a few for the older adult to try and see which ones are most satisfying: sweet potato, kale, beet, radish, green bean, eggplant, and much more. Or try freeze-dried fruit, another crunchy and nutritious solution.
Freeze it up. Make your own easy, healthy frozen treats by blending fruit with a little water or juice, pouring into popsicle molds, and freezing until solid. These also make a wonderful multi-generational activity! Invite the family over, let everyone choose their favorite flavor to make, and then spend some quality time together while you wait for them to chill before enjoying your personal creations.
Make it smooth. Smoothies and sauces are excellent ways to integrate a plethora of superfoods. You can create a nourishing, delicious drink by blending fresh fruit, yogurt, and a handful of spinach. Or try pureeing an assortment of vegetables to blend in with marinara sauce: zucchini, kale, bell peppers, carrots, etc.
Join a CSA. If you have never thought about a CSA, now could be the right time to investigate this option. A CSA (community supported agriculture) is a subscription service for fresh produce from local farmers. Get more information and find a CSA near you.
Help at Home Senior Care’s caregivers are skilled in preparing delicious, healthy meals according to each person’s unique preferences. We are able to pick up all of the ingredients too! Just connect with us online or at (530) 885-7444 for help with enhancing senior diets and to get other benefits from our Auburn, CA senior care and care in the nearby areas.