One of the most challenging tasks of a live-in caregiver is preparing food or healthy recipes for senior. Certainly, if you are a caregiver either by profession or obligation as a family member, you surely agree that meals are important parts of your day-to-day tasks. In addition, as you prepare each meal, there are things you consider before serving one to your patient, right?
One of the considerations is if the senior is getting enough nutrition. Remarkably, among the several reasons why one is eating nutritious food and among them can be, difficulty in grocery shopping, cooking and appreciating meals, especially when eaten alone. However, regardless of the reason, eating healthy food is certainly important for the older adult.
Tips for Easy Meal Preparation and Cooking
Indeed, not all tips are applicable to everyone. In fact, there may even be no one tip that will work for all. However, there are few good ideas you can integrate into your tasks for the week. These ideas will make food preparation simpler and easier for you and your patient.
Here are 2 helpful tips to make your life as a caregiver easier:
1. Plan the Menu and Write it Down
Planning the week’s menu guarantees a balanced food group in your patient’s meal. More so, planning ahead helps prevent making several trips to the market or grocery store. Indeed, this tip is helpful for you as it also saves you time. In addition, it is advisable that you take 30 minutes or 20 minutes of your time planning for your patient’s meal.
2. Prepare multipurpose or versatile ingredients you can use for the whole week
Consider meal preparation as an effective tip because it makes your caregiving job easier rather than more difficult. Similarly, instead of attempting to prepare every meal separately, start your preparation with certain foods that will appear more than once in the meal plan.
Here are easy recipes you can try including in your menu plan. You don’t need expertise in cooking with these easy-to-follow breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes. They are guaranteed healthy and nutritious too, to benefit the elderly you’re taking care of.
1. Berries and Oatmeal
Put fresh or frozen berries in a crock-pot and set it at low heat. Add a portion of the butter, a serving of the old-fashioned oats and water. Cook for several hours. Consequently, this procedure results in the bread pudding’s consistency.
2. Whole-grain pancakes or waffles
If there’s one available, choose a label or brand containing chia seeds as they are firmer than the flaxseed, not to mention, containing essential proteins and fatty acids. Then, top the waffles or pancakes with berries. Have the older adult eat a handful of almonds and walnuts too, for protein.
3. Yogurt Ice Cream
Mix together yogurt, fruits, and nuts. Undoubtedly, this mixture is a perfect combination of Vitamin C, Carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
4. Red Potatoes and Eggs
Melt some butter in a skillet. Afterward, chop the potatoes then, add them to the skillet at medium heat. In connection to this, be sure to cover the skillet exactly for 2 minutes then pour the scrambled eggs over your chopped potatoes, sprinkle some pepper and keep tossing toss until the scrambled eggs are hot. More importantly, instead of seasoning the mixture with salt which may result in high blood pressure and water retention, use fresh spices and herbs.
5. Wrapped Salmon
On one whole grain wrap, place boneless skinless salmon. Add chopped tomatoes, avocado and greens over the salmon and pour the plain yogurt. Wrap all the ingredients tightly, cut it in half, and serve your patient.
6. Cottage fries
First, prepare the parboiled potatoes and slice them in a skillet, heat extra virgin olive oil. Second, at medium heat, cook the potatoes and once cooked, top them with leftover vegetables and grated cheddar cheese. For the last preparation step, cover the skillet and let the potatoes steam. Serve the cottage fries hot.
7. Eggs and red potatoes
Melt a pat of butter in a skillet. Afterward, chop up potatoes and add to a skillet over a medium heat — cover skillet for two minutes. Then, pour scrambled eggs over potatoes, add pepper and toss until eggs are hot. Rather than seasoning it with salt, which can lead to water retention and high blood pressure, use fresh herbs and spices.
8. Pasta and Shrimp
Heat one tablespoon of olive oil and a pat of butter in a saucepan. Also, add a handful of shrimp, garlic, and herbs. Continue tossing until the shrimp is cooked. Finally, place the shrimp mixture on a bed of cooked pasta and put some chopped fresh tomatoes on top.
9. Rice and Beans
Initially, prepare a can of black, pinto, or white beans. Then, heat them up and once hot, serve the beans with brown rice, barley or oats. If the older adult is not yet ready to eat, you can simply warm the food using a crockpot to save not to mention, for serving later.
10. Chicken Salad
Prepare the skinless, boneless chicken breast and cook it with extra virgin olive oil in a skillet at a medium hit. Add the salsa. Moreover, shred the boneless skinless chicken breast, reserve and store it inside the fridge and use it for salad, soup or wraps later.
How to Maintain a Healthy Diet for Seniors
Put Only Nutrient-Rich Foods if Possible
As a person ages, there’s a possibility that his caloric needs will decrease. The nutrient needs, on the other hand, either increases or stays the same. In a similar way, foods rich in nutrients will help your patient get all the vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and minerals he needs. Some of the nutritious foods include:
- Whole grains
- Fruits and vegetables
- Lean protein
- Lentils and beans
- low-fat/non-fat dairy
- Seeds and nuts
Limit your patient’s intake of foods. Also, they have to be high in calories but low in nutrients. Some of the examples include:
- Sweetened beverages even just for an occasional treat
- Deep-fried fruits
- Junk food
Opt for Convenience Foods that are Healthier
If there is no other choice for you but to buy food from the convenience store, pick the healthiest food choices. Fortunately, there are lots of healthy options you can buy for the elderly. Here are some of them:
- Low-sugar or sugar-free canned fruits
- low-sodium/unsalted canned vegetables
- Bagged salad and salad dressing/coleslaw mix
- Low-sodium /unsalted canned stews or soup
- Pre-cooked rotisserie chicken or grilled turkey
- Instant oatmeal
Ensure Your Patient Stays Hydrated
Make sure the older individual is drinking fluids regularly. Therefore, you have to aim for 8 glasses of water for your patient every day. In addition, tea, soup, juice, and any water-rich vegetables and fruits are great sources of fluids.
So, if there’s a senior loved one in the family who needs care, but you’re not sure if you can personally provide that care well due to your busy schedule? Let our experienced caregivers assist you. Call Innovative Homecare Solutions today (+1-630-225-0100) for your senior family member’s free assessment. With us, you will surely get the deserving pay for live-in care.