Having meals full of nutrients is especially important for seniors who need to consume foods loaded with vitamin D to help prevent bone loss and antioxidants to reduce macular degeneration. Keeping fat and sodium consumption in check can also help prevent heart disease and other conditions that seniors tend to be more susceptible to developing with age.
As a leading provider of live-in and hourly home care in Milwaukee, our caregivers are often in charge of meal planning for their senior clients. The following are a few strategies from our caregivers on how to prepare delicious and nutritious meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Seniors can still enjoy occasional treats like bacon for breakfast. However, a typical breakfast should include grains, coupled with some fruits for vitamins and antioxidants. Consider the following nutritious breakfast suggestions:
- Oatmeal (with a half a banana and a little maple syrup for flavor)
- Grain cereals (in their natural whole grain form)
- Bran muffins (high in fiber)
- Breakfast frittata (use omega-3 enriched eggs for added nutrients)
- Scrambled eggs (make it healthy with some sliced tomatoes, peppers, onions and other fresh vegetables)
Seniors who appreciate a substantial breakfast may not prefer something all that major for lunch. To maintain a proper nutritional balance, consider seasonal soups or sandwiches on whole wheat bread. These items are often nutrient dense and are filling enough to last your loved one to his or her next meal.
The key to planning nutrient-rich meals, at least ones that your senior loved one will actually eat, is to mix things up with different sides, or having fish on some days instead of meat. Some dinner basics to consider:
- Fish (at least 2 portions per week is recommended)
- Lean meats (skinless poultry, pork and lamb)
- Steamed vegetables and long-grain rice (contains less starch)
- Stir fry (consider a vegetarian option with eggplant)
- Salad (just about any salad can be healthy as long as you watch the dressing selection)
Note: Meats should be grilled, poached, baked or broiled for added health benefits.
Snacks should be light to avoid affecting your loved one’s appetite. The right snack selections can also provide a nutritional boost between full meals. Try these:
- Greek yogurt
- Apples, oranges (sliced)
- Antioxidant-rich fruits (blueberries, strawberries, grapes, kiwi)
Consider planning meals with your loved one to include food selections to match his or her preferences. You can always make substitutions to make each meal more enjoyable without sacrificing nutritional value. And if you are unable to assist your loved one with meal preparation on a regular basis, don’t hesitate to reach out to Home Care Assistance of Milwaukee and find out how our highly trained caregivers can help promote health and happiness for your aging loved one. Call 414-964-8000 to request a complimentary, no obligation consultation today.