August 3, 2022

Fruits and vegetables are an important staple in a senior’s diet, and these tips can help you incorporate them, even when older adults have issues with eating or swallowing.

If you’re preparing meals for a senior who prefers carbs to carrots (and honestly – who doesn’t?), you may find it challenging to see that their nutritional needs are being achieved. And you’re not alone. The CDC shares that just one in ten older adults is meeting the recommendation of at least three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit each day. Multiple research reports have revealed that those who do follow these guidelines decrease their risk for diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic health issues, and subsequently live longer lives.

It may be time to think outside of the box to introduce healthier foods into the senior’s diet. For instance:

Make it smooth. Sauces and smoothies are excellent ways to incorporate a plethora of superfoods. You can easily create a refreshing, appetizing drink by blending yogurt, fresh fruit, and a handful of spinach. Or experiment with pureeing a variety of vegetables to mix in with marinara sauce: zucchini, kale, bell peppers, carrots, etc.

Make it crunchy. There are so many nutritious alternatives to greasy potato chips for a crispy snack or as a side to enjoy with a sandwich. Pick up several for the older adult in order to see which ones are most enjoyable: kale, sweet potato, eggplant, radish, beet, green beans, and much more. Or try freeze-dried fruit, another nutritious and crunchy option.

Freeze it up. Make your own simple, healthy frozen treats by blending fruit with a little water or juice, pouring into popsicle molds, and freezing until solid. These also make a great 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. Peeling, slicing, chopping, cooking – the many steps necessary to prepare some vegetables and fruits make it easier to simply grab a prepackaged snack. Consider healthy alternatives that are just as easy to grab and enjoy, such as baby carrots, ready-to-eat salads, or other cleaned and sliced veggies, individual cups of fruit, bananas, etc.

Join a CSA. If you’ve 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 find a CSA in your area here.

Continuum’s experts in help at home in St. Louis and the surrounding areas are skilled in preparing healthy, delicious meals in accordance with each person’s specific preferences. We are available to pick up all of the ingredients too! Just give us a call at (314) 863-9912 or (636) 861-3336 for help with enhancing the health of a senior you love.