Maintaining healthy eating habits is vital at every age, but for seniors who live alone, getting proper daily nutrition poses some unique challenges.
In addition to being solely responsible for the task of regular shopping, meal planning and meal preparation, seniors living alone face emotional challenges when it comes to mealtime. Eating alone can result in seniors eating poorly or sometimes not at all.
Here are four convenient steps you can take to address these unique challenges and promote good nutrition for seniors living alone.
Keep the refrigerator clean.
Cleaning out the refrigerator often may not sound convenient, but the result can significantly impact mealtime preparation and nutrition. An over-packed refrigerator not only makes it difficult to find the ingredients you need, it can also be a breeding ground for food-borne illness. Keeping the fridge free of outdated items can make mealtime easier and healthier.
Replace convenience foods.
Reports have found that over half of seniors who eat alone rely heavily on pre-made or convenience foods rather than self-prepared, healthful foods. Combat “convenience eating” by providing quick solutions that are as healthy as they are easy. Keep snacks such as yogurt, fruit and nuts handy for between-mealtime cravings. For heartier mealtime alternatives, try easy-to-prepare items like oatmeal, frozen vegetables and eggs.
Stick to the perimeter of the supermarket.
Shorten grocery trips and kick-start a healthier diet by shopping the outer aisles of the supermarket. Fruits, vegetables, dairy and other fresh food items tend to be located around the perimeter of the store. Focusing your grocery list on these items will not only increase the nutritional value of your diet, it will shorten your shopping trip and save you time as well.
Ask for help.
Living alone does not have to mean you are alone, even when it comes to grocery shopping and mealtime. Whether keeping a kitchen of healthy choices is a struggle or merely an inconvenience, in-home services can help. Consider professional non-medical in-home care services, such as the Home Instead Senior Care Home Care Services, for assistance with grocery shopping, meal preparation and more.