Many family caregivers become frustrated by the lack of proper nutrition in a senior loved one’s diet. Meal planning can be very time-consuming. Many seniors notice changes in their eating habits as they age. This can be due to side effects of certain medications, weakened sense of taste and smell, difficulty chewing or swallowing or loneliness and depression.
One way to ensure your loved one has quick and easy access to proper nutrition is to stock the pantry with some of the following nutritious, but ready-to-eat options:
Canned Fruit – While fresh fruit is typically preferred by most, the shelf life is typically only a few days. Canned fruit, with minimal added sugar, will stay in the pantry for months. It’s a quick and easy snack or can be a side dish for a meal.
Cottage Cheese – Packed with protein and calcium, this easy to chew and swallow cheese dish is a great way to pack in quick nutrition.
Nuts – With a long shelf life and plenty of protein, a variety of nuts stocked in the pantry is an easy way to feel satiated quickly. Most nutritionists recommend walnuts, almonds, pecans and macadamia nuts as the best types.
Canned or Jarred Soups – Soup options continue to expand on grocers’ shelves. With an almost endless variety from which to choose, stocking your senior’s pantry with soup provides an easy meal that is simply poured into a bowl and heated up in the microwave. Try to look for low sodium options.
Oatmeal– Oatmeal is a great breakfast alternative because it is high in fiber. There are flavored varieties or certain condiments can be added to enhance flavor.
Peanut Butter – A versatile option that can be added to crackers, bread, oatmeal and even ice cream.
Frozen Vegetables – Now available in a steam-in-the-bag method, stocking your senior’s freezer with vegetables is a great way to provide healthy side dishes.
Yogurt – This great snack or breakfast provides calcium, vitamin D, protein and probiotics. Try to look for the lower sugar content options.
Ensuring that your senior loved ones have access to nutritious food does not have to be difficult. With some of these prepacked options, you can rest assured that he or she can quickly and easily make a meal or snack packed with protein and nutrients.
Five more tips to improve access to better nutrition for your senior loved one:
1. Make sure they consume plenty of water, fat-free milk and/or low sugar juices to stay hydrated.
2. Help minimize sodium in their foods by paying attention to the sodium content and avoid adding extra salt. No more than 2300 mg of sodium per day is recommended. Too much salt leads to increased blood pressure which can result in heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.
3. Use healthy spices to season food instead of salt.
4. Reduce sugar consumption.
5. Add a vitamin supplement specifically designed for seniors.
At Stouffer Legal we recognize the challenges caregivers face. For more information on our elder law services, contact our elder law attorneys for a consultation. You can schedule an appointment by calling us at (443) 470-3599 or emailing us at email@example.com.