Eating healthy and staying active is vital in your senior years. Bodies change throughout a lifetime, and health conditions develop, so knowing what a body needs can significantly impact your future and how you physically feel. Elderly relatives might not have the strength or desire to make their meals and hold themselves accountable for eating healthy. There are many ways someone can help their elderly relatives prepare meals and ultimately live healthier. Knowing what to eat and how much is a critical factor in preparing meals.
Why eat healthy
Eating healthy has numerous physical and mental benefits that positively affect a body. A healthy diet includes ingesting a proper amount of each food group. Bodies can prevent severe health conditions, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, dementia, and more. Maintaining a healthy body by consistently eating properly can reduce the risk of chronic diseases and cancer.
Healthy eating can aid in a quicker recovery from a medical incident or health condition. Providing a body with healthy foods and nutrients boosts its immune system and can prevent sickness from common viral infections.
What to eat and what to avoid
A well-balanced diet would include fruit, vegetables, protein, dairy, and starchy food. Adding food that has both prebiotics and probiotics provides the colon with good bacteria to help it thrive. The body needs to intake an appropriate amount of each category for energy. Energy is an essential key factor in brain activity and maintaining a healthy brain. Specific nutrients and vitamins can lower risks of diseases, so adding those ingredients into a diet can keep elderly relatives feeling better and more alert.
Food that includes high amounts of fat and sugar need to be avoided. Sugary drinks such as soda and juice should be limited as well in one’s diet. A high sodium diet can increase high blood pressure and lead to serious health conditions that require medications to be taken. Elderly relatives will want to stay away from processed meat and fast food to maintain a healthy body.
Ways to grocery shop
Grocery shopping in 2021 can be as simple as shopping online using a cellphone or computer and requesting a pickup or delivery time. Many companies will deliver a person’s groceries, such as Shipt, Fresh Direct, AmazonFresh, and more. Other grocery stores will allow curbside pick-up and will have the groceries bagged and ready to go when you park. This allows a relative to ensure the proper foods are being bought without anyone needing to leave the house.
Meal prep tips
When helping an elderly relative with meal prep, you will want to start with choosing recipes for the week. Looking at cookbooks or searching on Google or Pinterest can help give you ideas on what meals to make. There are also specific recipes, including vegetarian, vegan, keto, and more. You can cater the recipes based on the relative’s health needs.
Once the groceries have been bought, an easy way to stay organized is placing the correct ingredients for each recipe into containers if the food will not be cooked right away. If the meals are cooked that day, then once the meals are done, they can be put into labeled containers so your relative knows when they should eat that meal. This can be more convenient for your relative and ease your mind knowing your relative is eating healthy.
Ensuring an elderly relative eats healthy food, and the appropriate portions will benefit the relative in many ways, especially if they already have a health condition. Eating healthy reduces the risks of serious diseases and conditions, while improving brain health and maintaining a healthy weight.