When you think about the best prepared meals for seniors, what do you see? More than just a list of words or a picture? If so, you might be surprised to know that one of the biggest misconceptions seniors have is that fast foods are somehow better than home-cooked meals. While it’s true that fast food restaurants are a bit less expensive than some home-cooked meals, you don’t need to break the bank to prepare healthy and satisfying meals.
The first thing you need to keep in mind when preparing meals for your senior parents is the amount of time they have to eat on a daily basis. Seniors begin to experience physical changes as they age. There are an inherent decrease in physical strength, as well as decreased ability to move around comfortably. This means that the best-prepared meals for seniors can’t include all of those fancy foods that you can find in any fast food restaurant. In fact, they should include a hearty, flavorful dishes that will stimulate their appetites and make them feel nourished without loading them up with calories.
The second thing to keep in mind is that senior home care professionals are busy people. They need plenty of healthy and nutritious meals available to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle. While it may seem more convenient to order take-away meals at your local pizza joint or burger joint, you’re actually spending far too much money and taking away from the quality of your senior citizen’s meals. Home-cooked meals, on the other hand, will make your senior loved one feel less guilty about eating unhealthy fast foods.
The third thing to remember about home-cooked meals is that you should choose fresh and healthy ingredients. Many seniors suffer from nutritional deficiencies, which make it difficult for them to process and absorb the nutrients in the foods that they eat. These nutrients get passed over to unhealthy foods in the form of weight gain, which then makes it harder for the body to fight off illness. In order to combat this, you should find a wide variety of lean proteins, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. You may even want to supplement with a vitamin and mineral supplement.
The fourth thing to remember when preparing meals for seniors is that you shouldn’t skip the protein. If you’re not sure about what type of protein you should use, you can always check with your doctor or the senior center staff at the facility where you’re assigned to maintain your health. There are many types of proteins from which you can choose. Some examples are beef, chicken, fish, turkey, and beans. Protein is the most important nutrient for seniors and you should ensure that they get enough each day.
Finally, don’t forget about desserts! Anytime you have a chance to serve snacks and treats to your seniors, you should go all out. The best-prepared meals for seniors don’t have to be bland. By choosing healthy, delicious treats, you can make your senior residents happy and healthy all day long.