Senior Diet: After your parents’ last check-up, your mom and dad were both told to make some changes to their diet.
Your mom is pre-diabetic and was advised to avoid sugar, saturated fats, and carbs. Plus, she needs to boost her protein. She’s got to stop getting takeout Chinese, fast food, and pizza, as these foods are not good for a senior diet.
Your dad has high blood pressure and gout, so he needs to avoid excess sodium, shellfish, and red meats. His doctor recommends he increases his fiber intake. Conflicting dietary needs are an issue family caregivers often encounter. When there are different nutritional needs, meal preparation is challenging. How do you make it work?
Find Common Ground
Go through the lists of foods your parents should and shouldn’t eat. Look for common ground. Those are the items that both can eat. You want to focus on meals and snacks that use those ingredients.
Instead of white rice with the stir-fried chicken they both crave, they serve it with steamed barley. If they have rice, brown rice is the better choice as long as they stick to the portion size.
While your dad shouldn’t eat a lot of shellfish when he has gout, he can have fish. Fish is also a great choice for your mom. Aim for at least two meals with fish as the primary source of protein. Three is even better.
Lots of fresh vegetables are essential for your mom and dad. Keep them stocked with celery, leafy greens, carrots, and cruciferous vegetables. They should eat at least four servings of vegetables each day. Salad fixings and raw vegetables with hummus or yogurt dip are suitable to keep on hand.
Talk to a Dietitian
Ask your parents’ doctors if they can get a referral to a dietitian. It often helps to have an expert offer insight and meal plans for your parents to follow. It will make meal preparation easier for you.
During these consultations, see if there are specific dietary plans to follow. Many doctors recommend the Mediterranean diet because it focuses on vegetables, olive oil, and fish. It’s versatile and has hundreds of recipes in cookbooks and online.
Senior Diet: Get Help
You may not have enough time to cook meals and snacks for your parents. If you’re busy helping them with housework and laundry while also trying to do your work each day, hire senior care aides to help out.
You can have senior care aides cooking meals and keeping the house clean. With their help, to improve the senior diet, you can focus on spending time with your parents and doing the laundry when necessary. Call a senior care agency to learn more.