Good nutrition for Seniors is not too different from that of good nutrition for anyone else. However, changes to the body due to age can impact diet, and make it harder to stay healthy. Seniors can’t always get away with the treats, and unhealthy eating practices they may have had in their youth. The following are some simple tips for healthier eating for seniors:
Tip one: Season with herbs and spices.
One thing many seniors need to be conscious of is their sodium intake. Low-sodium meals can be challenging, but reduced sodium may be necessary for heart health. Reducing sodium can help with water retention and high blood pressure. The best way to make this change is to stop reaching for the salt to add flavor to cooking. Instead, open the spice cabinet. Use garlic, onion, herbs, and other spices to add flavor and dimension to meals.
Tip two: Add fiber.
Senior nutrition often requires extra fiber to avoid chronic disease and constipation. The best way to make sure your body is getting the fiber it needs is to intake foods in their whole form: whole-grains rather than white flour; whole fruits rather than juices, etc. This will help you feel full longer while also giving your body the fiber it needs.
Tip three: Cook smarter.
Too many people eat “healthy” foods like lettuce, vegetables, etc. but cook or prepare them in unhealthy ways, losing a lot of the nutritional value in the process. Instead of using butters and oils, cook veggies in vegetable stock, or in water. Do not boil, as this can drain nutrients. Again, use spices instead of salt. Use low fat, and low sugar salad dressings and condiments, or skip them all together.
Tip four: Make it colorful.
One of the best tips you can have for healthier eating is to make your plate colorful. Blackberries, spinach, tomatoes, carrots, zucchini, all richly colored foods that are great for you. Add color and variety, trying to get at least 5 colors on each plate.
Tip five: Get help if needed.
Healthy eating is a choice, but it is often dictated by know-how, ease, access, etc. If you find it challenging to get out for fresh foods, or do not know how to prepare foods in a way that is tasty and satisfying, don’t just give up and go for take-out or delivery pizza. Instead, look for options for getting healthy meals. Mom’s Meals, for example, delivers freshly prepared meals to senior’s homes, and has over 70 menu options to choose from, so that you get exactly what sounds good to you. They can also meet many dietary restrictions.
Healthy eating can be accomplished with a little effort, and some planning. Seniors should remember their diets can impact their health, the health of their muscles and bones, and even mental clarity.
About R.O.S Therapy Systems: R.O.S. Therapy Systems began as a backyard project in 2010. Scott Silknitter was searching for tools to help his mother care for his father, Roger Owen Silknitter, during a 25-year fight with Parkinson’s disease and dementia. That project became a personal mission to help all family caregivers. From family caregiver training and activity books to mobile apps to activity systems, R.O.S. has grown to become a single-source provider of informational “how to’s” and a growing provider of adaptive tools for the millions of husbands, wives, children, and family members that become caregivers.
Common sense advice and instruction based on proven principles of communication, engagement, and daily living are the heart of everything R.O.S. offers for family caregivers. Improving quality of life for caregivers is our mission, and designing everything for a family caregiver struggling with a loved one is the starting point. Whether it is dementia, diabetes, Parkinson’s, ALS, stroke, visual impairment, developmental disabilities, or any other issue that forces someone to care for a loved one, R.O.S. and its Caregiving 101 program are here to help.