National Nutrition Month happens every March and it’s a great reminder to get familiar with your senior’s eating habits and see if there’s anything that she can do to eat a little bit better.
Encourage Her to Try New Foods
It’s really easy to get stuck in a rut of only eating certain foods. Your senior might have been in that rut for a really long time, so it’s a good idea to try to help her to bust out of it. Trying just a couple of new-to-her foods a week might help her to find some new favorites.
Choose a Variety of Colors
There’s a saying in nutrition circles about “eating from the rainbow,” and it makes a lot of sense. Different colors of foods, particularly fruits and vegetables, offer a plethora of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Plus, it can be just plain fun, and it can jazz up your senior’s plate a bit.
Stick to the Perimeter of the Grocery Store
When you’re helping her to shop for a healthier diet, it’s best to stick to the perimeter of the grocery store. The foods in the center aisles of the grocery store tend to be pre-packaged foods that don’t necessarily have the nutrients in them that your senior’s body needs most. The key is to shop primarily from fresh, whole foods, and then supplement that occasionally with other foods from other parts of the grocery store.
Don’t Forget Hydration
Talking about nutrition and healthy eating isn’t complete until you talk about water intake. Everyone needs slightly different amounts of water to be at optimal hydration levels, and your senior is no exception. While most people can rely on thirst levels to help them to remember to drink, however, your senior’s thirst impulse might have changed over time. Encourage her to sip all day long.
Help Her to Move More
It might not seem related but becoming more active can help to stimulate your senior’s appetite and she may even start to crave healthier foods overall. Talk to your senior’s doctor before she starts any exercise plan and make sure that she starts slowly. It might also be a good idea to have home care providers there to help if she has mobility issues at all. They can also help in other ways, like meal preparation and reminding your senior to eat.
It’s always good to stop and assess how well your senior’s diet is meeting her nutritional needs.