Proper nutrition is important at any age, especially during the golden years. However, tastes, dietary restrictions, and physical limitations may change over the years. To properly address your loved one’s unique nutritional needs, you may have to prepare a healthy grocery list for him or her. Here are a few items you should include in your elderly parent’s grocery shopping list.
Fresh or Frozen Produce
Fruits and vegetables are filled with vital minerals, vitamins, and fiber that older adults need daily. Choose bright-colored produce, which is rich in antioxidants. If your loved one has chewing difficulties or gastrointestinal issues, choose softer items like bananas, mangos, peaches, and pears. Tomatoes contain a wealth of nutrients, and they can be eaten raw or cooked. For salads, select dark, leafy greens over lettuce for added nutrition. Melons in the summer and squash in the fall and winter are wonderful choices as well.
Many seniors need assistance with meal prep. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care. Mesa Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
Pastas and rice are easy to chew and digest. However, whole-grain pastas and brown rice offer more nutritional benefits. Barley, quinoa, and grain mixes are easy to add to soups and stews. If your loved one enjoys breakfast cereals, choose whole grains. Breads or other baked goods should also be made with whole grains, which offer an abundance of fiber, protein, and micronutrients. Avoid processed foods that contain a lot of fat, salt, and sugar.
From preparing nutritious meals to managing basic household chores, older adults may need help with an array of activities. Mesa respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.
Many seniors do not get enough protein in their diets. Help your loved one choose affordable, lean cuts of meat. Chicken and turkey can be baked, roasted, or stewed without much difficulty. Your loved one should also eat salmon, tuna, or some other type of oily fish at least once a week for the heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Beans and chickpeas make great additions to salads, soups, or stews and provide much-needed protein. Between meals, your loved one can snack on nuts, which also provide protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
Include low-fat yogurt, cottage cheese, and other types of low-fat cheeses so your loved one gets sufficient amounts of calcium. Low-fat or skim milk along with yogurt also provides vitamin D, which is another nutrient older adults often lack. There are many options for single-serving dairy products, including yogurts in cups and string cheese.
Whether your loved one needs oil for baking or as an ingredient in salad dressings, encourage him or her to use olive oil, which is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts, nut butters, and avocados are other examples of healthy fats to include on the list.
Foods to Avoid
Processed meats are high in fat and sodium, which can negatively affect a senior’s blood pressure. Boxed cereals are often high in sugar, although many are fortified with vitamins and minerals. Commercially baked goods should also be consumed sparingly due to the high fat, sugar, and preservative content.
Eating nutritious meals is just one of the many ways older adults can boost their overall health and wellbeing. If you have a senior loved one who needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care Mesa families can rely on. All of our caregivers are bonded, licensed, and insured, there are no hidden fees, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts. Call us at (480) 699-4899 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today.