Is your elderly loved one interested in changing their diet? Maybe they were recently diagnosed with a health condition or they might be overweight. Either way, it is great that they want to change their eating habits. Depending on what their doctor recommends, it might be best for your elderly loved one to get started on a Meditteranean diet. This type of diet is filled with plant-based food and has very little dairy, meat, and saturated fats. With this being said, there are some tips you and senior care providers can use to help your elderly loved one transition to this diet.
It is important that your elderly loved one starts with baby steps. If they try to jump right in, it is more likely they will fail and fall back into unhealthy eating habits. They should add small amounts of vegetables and fruits to their diet every day. These should replace something they enjoy, but not all of it. For example, they can use one serving of fruits to replace half a serving of pasta. By doing this, your loved one still gets what they want to eat, but also get something healthy. In time, they will transition away from the foods they shouldn’t be eating, but this will be a gradual transition.
Eat More Fish Instead of Red Meat
Does your elderly loved one eat a lot of red meat? If so, they need to start to swap this out for fish instead. Again, this should be done gradually. For example, in the first few weeks, they should only swap out one serving of red meat a week for one serving of fish. If they haven’t eaten fish much in the past, try to find recipes with them that they may like. Getting them involved in the process can make the switch to this diet more successful, as well.
Snacks are another habit that needs to be changed when switching over to the Meditteranean diet. One of the ways that you and senior care providers can help your loved one with this is by making snack packs. These can be filled with whole-grain crackers, hummus, grapes, trail mix, or nuts. These would be intended to replace chips, cookies, or other unhealthy snacks that your elderly loved one currently eats. This can be one of the most difficult habits to change. Most people love their sweets. However, if you take this slowly just like the other changes, your loved one could get used to the new snacks.
These are some of the tips for getting your elderly loved one started on a Meditteranean diet. If you use these tips to help your loved one, they can start the new diet right away. The sooner they start it, the healthier they can be.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care in Evanston, IL, contact the caring staff at Companion Services of America today at (847) 943-3786. Our home care service area includes Northbrook, Highland Park, Deerfield, Glenview, Buffalo Grove, Evanston, Des Plaines, Skokie, Lake Forest, Wilmette and the surrounding areas.