Part of providing senior care to your elderly loved one is meal planning. But it can be exhausting to plan meals for yourself and your own family. Having to plan meals for a senior loved one can seem like a daunting task. It doesn’t have to be though. Working with your senior loved one’s senior home care provider together you can come up with meal plans for your senior loved one that are nutritious and delicious. Your senior loved one’s senior home care provider can help you by suggesting what your senior loved one likes to eat and how they like to eat.
Some other tips for planning meals for a loved one are:
Plan Just 2-3 Big Meals Per Week
Most seniors don’t want or need a large meal every day. The idea of a big family dinner is more appropriate for a weekend night like a Sunday when family and friends might come over for dinner. So instead of stressing yourself out trying to plan a full dinner for your senior parents every night of the week plan for 2-3 large meals during the week and plan on your senior loved ones eating leftovers or lighter meals on the other days.
Make Healthy Snacks Part Of The Plan
Healthy snacks are essential for seniors. Snacks help seniors who don’t eat enough get the calories they need and a healthy snack means that a senior who needs to lose weight won’t be eating unhealthy foods. Plan for snacks like fruit, nuts, granola bars, protein shakes, or protein bars to help round out your senior loved one’s diet.
Make Healthy Substitutions
When you’re planning out larger meals make substitutions to put healthy foods in place of unhealthy ones. For example, instead of a pot roast with mashed potatoes substitute mashed cauliflower for the potatoes. Instead of fish with tartar sauce plan on making fish with a light lemon sauce that doesn’t have all the fat and calories that tartar sauce has. Small changes like that can make a big difference in the health of your senior loved one. Especially if your senior loved one is overweight those little substitutions matter because they can shave off a lot of calories and fat.
Plan For One Take Out Night Per Week
It’s totally fine to order take out food or delivery food once a week. Just save that for a night that you know is going to be really busy so that you and the senior home care provider can get a break. For example, if you know that your senior loved one has a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon and you know you’ll be tired and frazzled by the time you get your senior loved one home that’s a great night to order takeout. And when you order takeout or delivery get some extra food so that your senior loved one will have some leftovers they can eat the next day.