The thought of shopping for weekly groceries can be stressful and agitating for many seniors. Trying to concoct creative and healthy snacks and meals isn’t always easy. Many caregivers can relate to a situation where elderly parents or grandparents become increasingly upset about the task and forget how joyful preparing a well-balanced meal with loved ones can be. It is a great time to enhance one’s abilities in the kitchen while also making purposeful healthy choices that have long lasting benefits.
To begin the process, start simple. Think of a few healthy foods that you know should be incorporated into the meal plan. Lean proteins, vitamin rich fruits and vegetables, whole grains and calcium are all very important for senior sustenance. It is essential to read labels to monitor salt and sugar intake. Don’t be afraid to try new things! Incorporate new choices gradually.
Involving seniors in their meal choices provides a sense of confidence and control, a quality they might feel they lack in their everyday life. Establishing this as a tradition may help the senior to bond with his or her caregiver. Present the idea as an enjoyable task from which the senior and caregiver can both learn. Once at the store, stay close to the perimeter, where you will find the nutrient rich, unprocessed foods. Many grocery stores offer pre-cut vegetables and other prepared foods that simultaneously ease meal preparation and eliminate the potential stress of handling knives and using the stove without supervision.
Once you have returned from the market, present to the senior the option to “meal prep”. Prepping one meal a day for the week can help ensure that the senior’s meal plan is followed successfully and independently. Seniors can help the process in many ways: washing vegetables, dividing equal portions, or labeling. Don’t forget that this is a meaningful and considerate activity. In these small moments caregivers can show patience, thoughtfulness and pride in those for whom they provide care.
For Senior Meal plans and Nutrition Information please visit: