If your aging parent lives alone, making meals ahead of time can help him or her eat well throughout the week. Because many seniors have diminished appetites or special dietary needs, preparing healthy meals may be difficult for them. You can make the following meals for the week ahead to make your parent’s life easier.
1. Smoothie Packs
Preparing smoothies is a good way to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables your loved one consumes each day. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends seniors eat between 21 and 28 grams of fiber each day to maintain their weight. By consuming smoothies, older adults can meet their daily fiber requirement. Make smoothie packs by placing peeled bananas, washed strawberries, and a handful of clean spinach in a resealable freezer bag, and then place the bag in the freezer. In the morning, your loved one can make a smoothie by dumping the bag’s contents into the blender and adding a splash of milk.
Eating nutritious meals isn’t the only way older adults can boost their health. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional homecare. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
2. Shredded Chicken
It’s important for seniors to eat enough protein each day to maintain muscle mass and build a healthy immune system. However, many seniors don’t eat enough protein each day. By adding shredded precooked chicken to soups, salads, or sandwiches, your parent can get up to eight grams of protein per 1/3 cup serving.
3. Vegetable Soup
If your loved one has dental issues, consider serving a bowl of soup. Vegetable soup is a healthy choice that’s high in fiber and can boost your loved one’s vitamin C intake. Make the soup ahead of time and place it into one-cup microwave-safe bowls. Your parent can warm the soup in the microwave before eating.
Eating salad is a great way to satisfy the appetite without consuming too many calories. Salads can be prepared ahead of time using mason jars. Simply layer lettuce, shredded carrots, edamame, and diced chicken in a jar. Carefully tighten the lid and place it in the fridge. Prepare or purchase a simple Asian dressing and have your loved one pour two tablespoons of the dressing in the jar and shake before eating.
Many older adults need help preparing nutritious meals. Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs live-in care, Clearwater, Florida, Home Care Assistance can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home.
5. Egg Salad
Eggs are high in protein, vitamin B, and omega-3 fatty acids that help seniors maintain their brain and heart health. Egg salad, which can be served on a bed of lettuce or a soft roll, is a healthy and delicious way to eat eggs. Combine diced hard-boiled eggs with Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, diced pickles, and spices and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Your loved one can eat the egg salad for up to seven days.
6. Snack Boxes
Eating four to six small meals a day can help your parent get the nutrition and calories he or she needs. Making healthful snacks ahead of time ensures these small meals are nutritious. Place diced cheese, dried fruits, baby carrots, and whole-wheat crackers in a container. Your loved one can remove them from the fridge whenever he or she feels hungry.
Seniors who need help with meal prep or other daily tasks should consider professional in-home care. In Clearwater, at-home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your parent, give us a call at (727) 330-7862 today.