Sometimes everyone needs help to eat healthier. But it can be even harder for older folks, who may not be able to make it to the store or are unable to cook.
On Monday's Successful Aging, Shannon Hodge from Home Instead Senior Care talked about four steps to healthier eating for older adults.
1. Keep the refrigerator clean.
Cleaning out the refrigerator regularly may not sound convenient, but the result can significantly impact mealtime prep and nutrition. An over-packed refrigerator not only makes it difficult to find the ingredients you need, it can also be a breeding ground for food-borne illness. Keeping the fridge free of outdated items can make mealtime easier and healthier.
2. Replace convenience foods.
The Craving Companionship study reports that over half of seniors who eat alone rely heavily on pre-made or convenience foods rather than self-prepared, healthful foods. Combat “convenience eating” by providing quick solutions that are as healthy as they are easy. Keep snacks such as yogurt, fruit and nuts handy for between-mealtime cravings. For heartier mealtime alternatives, try easy-to-prepare items like oatmeal, frozen vegetables and eggs.
3. Stick to the perimeter of the supermarket.
Shorten grocery trips and kick-start a healthier diet by shopping the outer aisles of the supermarket. Fruits, vegetables, dairy and other fresh food items tend to be located around the perimeter of the store. Focusing your grocery list on these items will not only increase the nutritional value of your diet, it will shorten your shopping trip and save you time as well.
4. Ask for help.
Living alone does not have to mean going it alone, even when it comes to grocery shopping and mealtime. Whether keeping a kitchen of healthy choices is a struggle or merely an inconvenience, in-home services can help. Consider professional non-medical in-home care services, such as the Home Instead Senior Care® network’s Home Helper Services for assistance with grocery shopping, meal preparation and more.
For more information, visit the Caregiver website.