No matter what your age is, a healthy diet is important. For seniors facing financial and physical challenges, shopping for and cooking healthy foods can be a difficult.
With the help of Comfort Keepers® home health care services and their physicians, seniors can more easily implement some common-sense strategies to eat well and stay healthy. This month we’re focusing on Comfort Keepers’ STOP Senior Hunger initiative, helping seniors, their families and caregivers find a healthy nutritional balance at all stages of life.
Here are some affordable tips for eating a nutritious, delicious diet for seniors:
• Make meal planning and preparation a fun experience. Plan one new meal, prepare a new recipe or try a new food item each week. Look for new ways to prepare an old favorite.
• Cook once, eat twice. Buy enough ingredients to cook more than one meal and then freeze individual portions.
• Focus on foods that provide high-quality nutrition. Suggest complex carbohydrates instead of simple sugars – whole grains versus processed white flours and refined sugars. Senior services providers from Comfort Keepers are well-educated in senior nutrition.
• Buy fresh fruits and vegetables when they’re in season (it is cheaper) and opt for frozen produce when fresh is not available.
• Purchase lower cost, high-quality protein, such as low-fat ground meat, eggs, beans, tofu, tuna and dairy products including milk, cottage cheese, cheese and yogurt.
• Shop using a list to avoid unnecessary purchases and make better food choices. Never go grocery shopping while hungry, which can lead to impulse purchases and excessive calorie intake.
• Buy store brands if you like them. Caregivers and seniors can clip coupons and watch grocery store ads for sales.
• Avoid or buy only small amounts of prepared foods, sweets and snack foods that offer fewer nutrients.
• When eating out, take advantage of senior menus or discounts. Lunch is most often a cheaper option than dinner – portions will likely be smaller, too.
Your local Comfort Keepers may have a resource guide with contact information for local financial assistance programs that apply to seniors in home health care. Some seniors may be eligible for food stamps.
Note: Seniors, their family members and other caregivers should speak with their doctors about managing their nutrition.