Eating healthy meals is important during every stage of life. It is not always easy to make healthy food choices. Browsing through the grocery store, one can find a plethora of ready-made meals that can be tossed into the microwave and ready in minutes, helping you save time and energy. As easy as these meals appear, they are not always a healthy option, often high in fat or sodium. So if you are in charge of the meal plan for an elderly person, or you are a senior citizen creating a meal plan for yourself, there are some helpful tips to keep in mind to help you maintain a healthy and balanced diet.
Meal Planning Guidelines for the Elderly
One of the most important things to keep in mind as you plan your shopping trip is that healthy meal plans for seniors must include plenty of liquids. Water is of course the best option, but any liquid that does not contain too much sugar is helpful. The USDA also suggests drinking two or three glasses of low-fat milk throughout the day. Milk contains vitamins older adults need, like calcium and B12. A variety of vegetables should also be a part of every senior citizen meal plan. Try seasoning them with herbs and spices rather than salt to keep the extra sodium out of your diet. If you are buying packaged food from the grocery store, be sure to check the nutritional facts label for information about calories, fats, and sodium that may be harmful to your diet.
Healthy Meal Plans for Seniors
Breakfast is one of the easiest meals to prep for the week. Plan to have a hard-boiled egg with some fruit slices each morning. You can hard boil enough eggs for the week on Sunday, and they will keep in the refrigerator so all you have to do in the morning is peel and eat. Fruit can also be bought pre-cut at the grocery store if cutting is a challenge. Another breakfast idea is yogurt parfaits. Mix some berries and nuts or granola in with your yogurt for a healthy, filling breakfast. These can also be prepped on a Sunday to start creating a seven day meal plan for elderly adults.
Lunch can be light, and salads are a great option. Just watch out for high-fat or high-sodium salad dressing. Omelettes or eggs and potatoes can also be made in a variety of ways, so you stay healthy without getting bored by the same food every day.
Dinners on a meal plan for older adults have more options than you might think. Chicken stir fry or chicken stew made in a crock pot are both easy and can be made in advance as part of a meal plan for elderly patients. Seafood is also a healthy choice for seniors, especially salmon and shrimp. Shrimp can be sauteed and eaten alone or tossed into a salad. If you are looking for simple and nutritious recipes for seniors, click here and here for easy options for every meal of the day.
When you make any change in your diet, don’t forget to check in with your doctor. He or she knows your health best, and can help you make the right choices for your lifestyle. Your doctor can also recommend vitamins or supplements to make sure you are getting everything you need to stay active and healthy.