It might feel a lot like role reversal. When you were young your mom was always telling you to eat your vegetables. Now you feel like she should be eating more of them to maintain a healthy diet. You might be right. It’s estimated that less than 15% of American adults do not eat enough servings of vegetables and fruit each day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That statistic is staggering.
As primary caregiver, whether you are providing all the care for your loved one or coordinating their care through elder care services, it’s equally important for you to make sure you get your 5 to 7 recommended daily servings as well.
We all know it takes time to prepare and serve fresh vegetable and fruit dishes, and time is a premium resource for caregivers. Elderly loved ones may have a difficult time chewing crispy, tough foods such as raw carrots. This article will discuss some ways to add more fruits and veggies into the diet taking all these things into consideration.
Strategies for increasing fruits and veggies
- Talk with your loved one and find out why they’re not eating that many fruits and vegetables. Maybe they don’t care for the lima beans in the vegetable blend; perhaps they get a bitter aftertaste from the cauliflower recipe being used. You never know what it might be. Maybe their taste buds need a little more spice to flavor things up a bit.
- Try a green smoothie first thing in the morning. This is a good way to get lots of nutrition into their body without very much effort because they are so easy to drink.
- Steamed vegetables are highly nutritious! The harder textured vegetables such as carrots, green beans, broccoli and cauliflower will be easier for them to chew when softened up a little bit by steaming.
- Fruit sauces made in the slow cooker are a good way to help them eat more fruit. Apple sauce, peach sauce etc. can be made by slowly cooking the fruit with a little cinnamon and raisins if you like.
- Soups or even pureed soups that contain a generous variety of vegetables are a comforting and easy way to take in a lot of vegetables at one time. For example, you could try a roasted carrot and red pepper soup. These bright orange and red colored vegetables are great sources of beta-carotene and vitamin A.
- Add vegetables to lasagna, spaghetti, casseroles, sauces and so on. Grated carrots and minced broccoli simmered in tomato sauce make a good addition to lasagna or spaghetti. When making stew think of adding chunks of turnips and parsnips as well as the potatoes to increase the nutritional levels.
- Freeze ripe banana chunks and then blend in blender to make healthy “banana ice cream” without all the additives and calories.
These are just a few ideas on increasing fruit and veggies in yours and your loved one’s diet so we all stay healthy and get our daily recommended servings to keep us strong.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care services near Houston TX, call Sheila’s Angels and talk to our caring staff about your needs. Sheila’s Angels Provides In-home Senior Care for the Houston Area. Serving Clear Lake City, League City, Friendswood, Pearland, Alvin, El Largo, Nassau Bay, Seabrook, Taylor Lake, Clear Lake Shores and surrounding communities.