Starting in childhood, most people don’t really care for vegetables.
However, they provide so many nutrients that are good for the body that it’s important to eat several servings a day. Elderly adults can certainly benefit from eating more vegetables, as their age-related health issues render the body less efficient than in their younger years. Family caregivers can increase their aging loved one’s nutritional intake by adding vegetables to every meal.
When elderly adults begin to decline physically and mentally, they often turn to a family caregiver and home care provider to assist with daily tasks.
Besides helping with getting dressed and doing housework, family caregivers and home care providers often take over meal planning and preparation. This means they have a lot of control over what groceries come into the house and what meals and snacks the aging adults eat. Family caregivers can slowly increase the vegetables, so the elderly adult doesn’t feel overwhelmed by changes to their diet.
The health benefits of vegetables are beyond dispute as multiple studies show that they deliver vitamins, minerals, fiber, and many other nutrients.
Eating vegetables is directly linked to reducing the risk of several chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and strokes. Including vegetables in with an overall healthy diet that features fruit, whole grain, lean protein, and low-fat dairy is the key to optimum health and wellness at any age.
When shopping for vegetables and researching recipes that include them, family caregivers and home care providers should choose an assortment of different types and flavors for variety.
Different vegetables feature different nutrients, so family caregivers should aim for several different types throughout the week to serve to their aging loved ones. For example, one cup of cooked broccoli contains as much vitamin C as a whole orange, and also delivers vitamin B, potassium and zinc. Tomatoes provide a range of vitamins, plus folate and potassium.
It can be a real challenge to entice seniors to eat more vegetables.
Some simply don’t like the taste or texture of certain vegetables or they are not willing to try new things. Family caregivers and home care providers can use a range of techniques to include vegetables into an aging adult’s diet without resorting to steamed, bland options.
A green smoothie is a healthy snack full of vegetables, and vegetable puree can be added to a range of soups, stews, and sauces. Many seniors won’t object to diced vegetables added to creamy casseroles and hot dishes. There are many recipes online that include “hidden” vegetables for those that don’t care for them. Family caregivers and home care providers can keep experimenting until they find vegetable dishes that the elderly adult likes.
It’s important for aging adults to have a nutritious diet and one of the best ways to do this is to increase the number of servings for vegetables. With the support of those who take care of them, seniors can enjoy all the health benefits that vegetables provide.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elder Care in Milton, GA, please call the caring staff at Always Care Nursing Service today.
Call for Assistance: (404) 266-8773 or (800) 989-7828
Administrator of 3 Florida (Always Care) Home Health Agencies for over Fourteen years.
Always Care of Georgia since 2001
Served as a 1st Lt. In the US Army