Your parents announced they want to make healthier food choices. They eat lunches a few times a week at the local senior center. They love being social, but they’re not certain the meals are that healthy. They’ve listened to their doctor tell them to cut excess sugar, fat, and sodium and want to take her advice.
What’s concerning to them are the meals served at the senior center. The last few meals have included kielbasa soup served with bread and butter, a sausage sandwich topped with fried onions and peppers, and hot dogs mixed into macaroni and cheese. Your parents are worried about sodium, sugar, and fat found in these processed meats. They’ve asked you to help them create healthier menus.
These are easy tips you can follow.
Toss Out Processed Foods
Donate or toss foods that are processed. If your mom and dad have spice mixes in their cupboard, stop to look at the sodium and sugar content. See how many artificial preservatives are in the mix. Bouillon cubes, rice pilaf mixes, dry soup packets, and canned or jarred soups and sauces are all poor food choices. If it’s been opened, you need to toss it. If it’s still sealed and in date, you can donate it to a food shelf.
Use the Rule of Quarters
One of the best ways to start a healthier diet is by dividing a plate into four sections. Fill two of those sections with vegetables or fruit. Be careful with fruit as most do contain sugar and will be higher in calories. Place a lean protein in one of the four sections. Generally, a rule of thumb is that the protein choice should be about equal in size to a standard deck of playing cards. The fourth section should contain a whole grain.
Stock Up on Grains and Dried Beans
Whole grains like quinoa, cracked wheat, barley, and farro are some of the grains to keep in the pantry. Dried beans and lentils are also ideal. Not only are these items high in fiber, but they’re also filling. You eat less of them and feel full sooner.
Grow Vegetables, Herbs, and Fruit When Possible
Produce is one of the things your parents need to keep stocked. Frozen is good, but fresh is best. Herbs add flavor that makes it easy to skip the salt. Fresh fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
If they have space, they can grow their own herbs, fruit, and vegetables. They can grow them outside in a garden plot or in containers. If they have the room and don’t mind buying the equipment, hydroponics is another possibility and stretches the growing season to year-round gardening.
If cooking healthy meals is hard, a caregiver can take over. Home care professionals can handle meal preparation and take your parents shopping for affordable ingredients. Learn more by calling our home care agency.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Naples FL, call the caring staff at Dial-a-Nurse today. Naples: (239) 307-0033. Ft. Myers: (239) 307-0065.
In 1995 he became Administrator of Dial-a-Nurse nursing agency, the oldest nursing agency in the Southwest Florida succeeding his mother who started the company 37 years ago. He is also President of Nevco, Inc., an educational healthcare training company begun in 1988.
Mr. Wolfendale has worked with the U.S. Department of Commerce on various Missions to improve the quality of life around the world by development of supportive healthcare programs. In 2005 he traveled with U.S. officials and addressed the Italian National Government assisting in the creation of Nurse Education mandates for that Country. In 2006 he was invited and spoke with the National Institutes of Continuing Education in Eastern Europe on healthcare education and developmental mandates, and most recently represented the United States at the European Union in Lake Balaton, Hungary in 2011. In 2014 he traveled with the U.S. Department of State to Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam in an effort to improve caregiver knowledge and training.
Mr. Wolfendale has worked with a number of non-profits in contributing and creating curriculum to improve the quality of life in third-world countries since 2001, and notably created a successful program in Odessa, India that has been modeled in other areas of the world. In his backyard, he has worked with local Goodwill Industries to provide curriculum and training to underserved individuals who have obtained employment as a result of educational training. He was the Congressional appointment to the Governor's purple ribbon task force in 2013, and has worked to educate caregivers in all aspects of Alzheimer's training.