It is common knowledge that healthy eating habits are vital for good living. However, eating healthy is interpreted slightly differently for different ages.
Older people have certain vitamins to incorporate into their diet and specific meals to avoid. Also, older adults need fewer calories because of their slower metabolism. Knowing these is beneficial when planning meals to maintain any senior’s health.
We have skilled chefs at Seasons Retirement Communities who know how to prepare balanced meals to ensure our residents remain healthy and nourished. We are well aware of malnutrition in older adults and take steps to ensure that diet and other health factors are at the forefront of our services.
It is hard to monitor the nutrient intake of your older loved ones without having a clear meal plan. A meal plan is a guide to the quality and quantity of food that they eat. They provide an easy way to ensure that unhealthy diet options are left off the table.
Senior meal plans also help older adults eat at the right time. It is an excellent way to save money as well, not only because it prevents leftovers but also guards against various health complications that may require regular hospital visits.
When planning their meals, making provisions for the most nutritious foods that provide enough energy to carry out their daily activities conveniently is essential. Healthy eating for seniors can help sharpen their minds and improve focus too. Moreover, eating well can lift their moods and help them feel better.
Coming up with a meal plan that suits your senior’s health may seem to be a challenging task, but with the following guidelines, you can easily do it:
Some older adults may be less sensitive to thirst while still requiring plenty of water throughout the day, so it’s essential to consider water intake when drawing up a meal plan. This ensures that they can stay hydrated throughout the day.
Also, getting the proper amount of hydration is easy by including foods with high water content in their diet. Watermelons, berries and soups are good examples. Finally, it’ll be helpful if your parents and grandparents visit their physician now and then to assess their daily fluid intake.
When meal planning for seniors, make sure that their meals are rich in:
Healthy seniors will usually avoid foods that have a lot of calories and little nutrients, like chips, soda, or alcohol. These foods can lead to weight gain, and being overweight as an older adult is usually something that should be avoided if possible.
You should limit foods like fries and pastries with saturated and trans fats in older people’s diets – only to be taken occasionally. Instead, replacing them with foods containing mainly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats would be best to protect the body against diseases. Unsaturated fats can be found in olive oil, canola oil, avocado, nuts, and fishes high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel.
It’s a good idea to check the nutrition labels when buying packaged foods. This way, you can check what they contain and easily avoid foods with high sodium, fat, and sugar.
These include fruits and vegetables, beans and lentils, oats, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. They are necessary to keep the digestive system in good shape and prevent problems like constipation. Soluble fibre should not be left out when planning healthy eating for seniors because they help maintain good cholesterol levels.
These make for a healthy alternative to salt. For example, you can use herbs and spices such as turmerics, basil, rosemary and sage.
It is advisable to stick to the serving sizes recommended by older people’s physicians to keep their weight in check and prevent any surplus or deficiency of nutrients.
Sometimes, older adults may find it difficult to chew or digest food. In such cases, supplements like Multivitamins, Calcium, Vitamin B6, B9, B12, and Vitamin D can compensate for what is missing.
You should get supplements containing only the vitamin or mineral you need without any other unnecessary nutrients. Older adults should check with their doctor before starting a supplement.
Recommendations from experts and dietitians would help to be on the safe side. A healthy diet may vary from person to person, depending on their gender, general daily activities, and health conditions. Some healthy seniors require restricted diets, and dieticians are the best people to create their meal plans.
While following the above tips to keep a healthy senior, there are some foods to avoid. Older adults need to cut back on taking the following for a number of reasons.
When one’s diet is managed correctly, it’s likely to reduce the need for medications. Ensure your senior meal plans have all the proper nutrients for excellent physical and mental health.
While a balanced diet is essential for healthy seniors, meditation, exercise, good sleep, and social interactions also play a huge role. We ensure to provide all these to our Seasons Retirement Communities residents.