August 1, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

happy senior lady drinking a smoothie

If you are trying to make healthy meals for seniors who prefer carbs to carrots (because who doesn’t?), you may find it challenging to guarantee that their nutritional needs are being achieved. And you’re not alone. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention shares that just one in ten seniors is meeting the recommendation for at least three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit every day. Multiple studies have found that older adults who do follow these guidelines lower their risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic health issues, and ultimately live longer.

It might be time to think outside the box to encourage healthier eating habits. For example:

  • Make it smooth. Sauces and smoothies are excellent ways to integrate a variety of superfoods. You can create a refreshing, delicious drink by blending a little spinach, yogurt, and fresh fruit. Or play with pureeing different veggies to mix in with marinara sauce: zucchini, kale, bell peppers, carrots, etc.
  • Keep it crunchy. There are countless healthy alternatives to greasy potato chips for a crispy snack or as a side to enjoy with a sandwich. Pick up a few for the older adult to try, and see which ones are most satisfying: kale, sweet potato, eggplant, radish, beet, green bean, and more. Or try freeze-dried fruit, another crunchy and nutritious solution.
  • Freeze it up. Make your own easy, healthy frozen treats by blending fruit with a small amount of juice or water, pouring into popsicle molds, and freezing until solid. These also make a fantastic multi-generational activity! Invite the family members over, let everyone choose their favorite flavor to make, and then spend some quality time together while you wait for them to chill before enjoying your individual creations.
  • Opt for convenience. Chopping, peeling, slicing, cooking – the numerous steps needed to prepare some vegetables and fruits make it easier to just grab a prepackaged snack. Consider healthy alternatives that are typically just as easy to grab and enjoy, for example, ready-to-eat salads, baby carrots, or other cleaned and sliced veggies, individual cups of fruit, bananas, etc.
  • Join a CSA. If you have never thought about a CSA, now is the perfect time to investigate this option. A CSA (community supported agriculture) is a subscription service for fresh produce from local farmers. Learn more, and discover a CSA near you.

At Home Independent Living’s caregivers are skilled in preparing delicious, healthy meals based on each person’s specific preferences. We are able to pick up all of the ingredients too! Just reach out to us at (315) 579-HOME (4663) for assistance with enhancing the health and nutrition of an older adult you love, and discover why we are the top in home care company Syracuse, NY and other nearby areas trust most. To learn more about all of the areas we serve, please visit our Service Area page.