Senior Care in Rancho Cordova CA
Gone are the days when eating three “square” meals a day was the only recommended way to get the nutrition that your body needs to thrive. Now more doctors than ever are recommending a “grazing” approach to eating. This includes breaking up three large meals to several smaller meals, or eating three smaller meals and then snacks in between. There are many benefits to this type of eating, including helping to get a broader range of nutrients, keeping hunger pangs at bay, and curbing overeating to control fat and calorie intake.
When it comes to snacking, however, you want to make sure that your aging parent is choosing the right snacks to keep them healthy and give them the maximum benefit. Use these snack tips to keep your parent healthier:
- Practice portion control. Animals that graze might look like they are just eating mindlessly, but you do not want your parent to fall into this practice. Practicing portion control is important to making sure that your elderly loved one does not overdo it when it comes to their calories or fat. Measure out snacks carefully rather than just serving an entire container and expecting your parent to stop when they have eaten enough.
- Combine protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Snacking is not just about filling up your parent’s stomach so that they are not as hungry throughout the day. It also helps to keep energy levels high so that they can get through their day more comfortably. Maximize this potential by combining protein, fat, and carbohydrates in each snack. These nutrients work together to create lasting, sustainable energy.
- Go for whole. Processed, packaged snacks tend to be high in sugar, salt, fat, and preservatives, making them a less healthy option for your aging parent. Even if you find packaged snacks that do not contain these additives, they will be more expensive. Instead, choose whole food options for snacks. Whole pieces of fruit with peanut butter, half a sandwich on whole grain bread, or chopped vegetables with hummus are all good options.
- Stay scheduled. By the time that your parent starts to feel hunger pangs, they are already experiencing low blood sugar and a slowed metabolic rate that can be difficult for their body to handle and actually lead to more fat retention and lower energy levels. Schedule snacks so that your parent eats at close to the same time every day. This will help to keep their body consistently fueled and operating at its best.
- Drink their snack. Snacking does not have to mean eating something. A small smoothie is a fantastic snack option that packs a large amount of nutrition in an easy to consume treat. Start with a base of Greek yogurt and juice, and add whatever frozen fruits your parent likes. Some protein powder and fiber powder bring the nutrition to another level.
Starting senior care for your aging parent can be a powerful way to help them achieve better health and nutrition as they age in place. This senior home care services provider can be with your aging loved one to help them make confident decisions about the foods that they should eat, and prepare snacks that are both delicious and nutritious so that they can get the maximum benefit from enjoying “grazing” throughout the day.