Your parents announced they want to make healthier food choices. They eat lunches a few times a week at the local senior center. They love being social, but they’re not certain the meals are that healthy. They’ve listened to their doctor tell them to cut excess sugar, fat, and sodium and want to take her advice.

What’s concerning to them are the meals served at the senior center. The last few meals have included kielbasa soup served with bread and butter, a sausage sandwich topped with fried onions and peppers, and hot dogs mixed into macaroni and cheese. Your parents are worried about sodium, sugar, and fat found in these processed meats. They’ve asked you to help them create healthier menus.

Home Care Naples FL – Your Parents Want a Healthier Diet – Here Are Some Tips

These are easy tips you can follow.bigstock food salmon fillet with vegetables 76601543 e1517933722295 1

Toss Out Processed Foods

Donate or toss foods that are processed. If your mom and dad have spice mixes in their cupboard, stop to look at the sodium and sugar content. See how many artificial preservatives are in the mix. Bouillon cubes, rice pilaf mixes, dry soup packets, and canned or jarred soups and sauces are all poor food choices. If it’s been opened, you need to toss it. If it’s still sealed and in date, you can donate it to a food shelf.

Use the Rule of Quarters

One of the best ways to start a healthier diet is by dividing a plate into four sections. Fill two of those sections with vegetables or fruit. Be careful with fruit as most do contain sugar and will be higher in calories. Place a lean protein in one of the four sections. Generally, a rule of thumb is that the protein choice should be about equal in size to a standard deck of playing cards. The fourth section should contain a whole grain.

Stock Up on Grains and Dried Beans

Whole grains like quinoa, cracked wheat, barley, and farro are some of the grains to keep in the pantry. Dried beans and lentils are also ideal. Not only are these items high in fiber, but they’re also filling. You eat less of them and feel full sooner.

Grow Vegetables, Herbs, and Fruit When Possible

Produce is one of the things your parents need to keep stocked. Frozen is good, but fresh is best. Herbs add flavor that makes it easy to skip the salt. Fresh fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

If they have space, they can grow their own herbs, fruit, and vegetables. They can grow them outside in a garden plot or in containers. If they have the room and don’t mind buying the equipment, hydroponics is another possibility and stretches the growing season to year-round gardening.

If cooking healthy meals is hard, a caregiver can take over. Home care professionals can handle meal preparation and take your parents shopping for affordable ingredients. Learn more by calling our home care agency.

If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Naples FL, call the caring staff at Dial-a-Nurse today. Naples: (239) 434-8000. Ft. Myers: (239) 939-1228.