As we grow older, it becomes vital to eat the right foods and seek out the best nutrition for our body. Seniors often have new dietary restrictions or requirements based on the type of medical conditions they have, such as diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure. Medications can also affect the way they eat meals and potentially lessen their appetites, making it a challenge to get all the nutrients they need.
Luckily, senior communities are stepping up to the challenge of creating innovative and nutritious meal plans tailored to the needs of their residents. Check out the 7 ways senior communities are promoting nutrition for their seniors.
Offering Ideal Ingredient Substitutions
Senior community chefs are trained to provide healthy meals that contain less salt and fat. For meals with high amounts of fat or salt, they find healthier ingredient substitutions that don’t compromise the taste or texture of the final dish.
Providing More Locally Grown Food
Locally grown foods provide a wealth of nutritional benefits for seniors, who often face the challenge of eating a balanced diet with a variety of different foods. By incorporating more locally grown food into their meal plans, senior communities are providing a better variety of healthy food options, while also meeting the regional & seasonal tastes of their residents.
Spurring Enthusiasm for Food
Cooking classes, demonstrations and educational programs hosted by the senior community help people learn more about the healthy foods that are right for their diets and medical conditions. Personally involving seniors with creating meals creates excitement about the foods and allows community members to become more knowledgeable about making healthy choices.
Senior communities rely on the advice of nutritionists to review menu items and provide guidance to ensure each meal provides the right vitamins, minerals and other dietary essentials. In addition to gaining input from nutritionists, many senior communities are asking residents for recommendations, which allows the menu to be tailored to better suit their individual tastes.
Cutting Back on Prepackaged Meals
Pre-packaged foods tend to be high in sodium and low on taste. They also don’t allow for meals to be customized to meet the individual wants and needs of seniors. Many senior communities are cutting back on prepackaged foods and preparing in-house meals with fresh ingredients, in order to promote health and wellness for community residents.
Ensuring More Balanced Diets
A challenge for many seniors is eating a balanced diet, with the right amount of fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains and dairy. By providing more balanced diets, senior communities are helping residents to get the right dietary amounts at every meal.
Flexible Meal Schedules
Many senior communities offer more flexible meal schedules to fit into the preferences of the residents. Seniors aren’t being forced into eating at certain times that may not fit into their lifestyles or medication schedules.
By paying more attention to the unique dietary needs of their members, senior communities are playing a larger role in the overall health and well-being of seniors.
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