Making sure to eat healthily can be hard, especially if you have a sweet tooth or appreciate a wide variety of tastes. Unfortunately, the impact of eating unhealthy foods catches up with people as they age, which means that health conditions can arise and worsen if no steps are taken to change their diet. Perhaps you have an elderly relative whose health you are concerned about. If you need some advice on how to help them improve their diet, here’s what you need to know.
Replace Unhealthy Foods
Sometimes, a complete overhaul of a person’s diet is too much to ask, especially if they are older and have had much longer to cement their habits and ideas around food. Instead of attempting to convince your relative to change what they eat entirely, make some suggestions about what they could replace with healthier alternatives. Maybe they could reduce the amount of sugar that they put in their hot drinks or stop using so much salt at mealtimes. The key is to make gentle suggestions, rather than demands.
Take Inspiration from Professionals
It isn’t always easy to know what a healthy senior diet should be. Peoples’ health needs change as they grow older and different nutrition is required to maintain a well-running body. You can take inspiration from places that specifically cater to older people and find out what healthy foods they serve. For example, Signature Care Homes make sure to offer nutritious meals to their residents. By using these kinds of menus as a template, you can introduce new and healthier foods to your relative. Make sure to learn the best way to prepare these meals, so that they make a good first impression. Otherwise, your relative might not want to try them again.
Make adapting your relative’s diet an opportunity for experimentation and fun by sharing in the challenge of finding new and exciting foods to eat. For example, research unusual ingredients and see what each of you can make with them. Sooner or later, you will help them to discover something they never knew they liked.
By making meals with your relative, you can break down some of the barriers they might have around trying healthier foods. Maybe if you make them something healthy with love and care they will be more inclined to try it and like it.
If you or your elderly relative aren’t particularly confident cooks, you could take your experimentation out of the house. Visit restaurants your relative hasn’t tried before and encourage them to choose something unexpected from the menu. This can help them open to healthier types of food that they can then introduce to their regular diet. Dining out together is also a great way to strengthen your relationship.
Improving your elderly relative’s diet doesn’t need to be a chore. By creating opportunities for fun, bonding, and trying new foods, you transform the process of making their diet healthier into something enjoyable and fulfilling.