At his last checkup, your dad’s doctor cautioned him that he needs to lose weight. His blood pressure is creeping up and tests show he has prediabetes. How can you and his elder care providers encourage and help your dad to shed the extra pounds he’s gained?
Clean His Cupboards, Fridge, and Freezer
Before you do anything, go through your dad’s cupboards, fridge, and freezer to remove any foods he is not supposed to eat. Foods that are low in nutritional value and high in sugar, saturated fat, and sodium have to go.
Donate things that haven’t been opened and are still within their “use by” or “sell by” date. Compost the rest and recycle any containers that can be recycled. As you do this, keep an inventory of what he has and what he needs.
Build a Weekly or Monthly Meal Plan
Next, go over the meals your dad wants for the next week or even month. Find recipes that match his dietary needs and that he’s able to cook. If he cannot cook, make sure the recipes are something you or an elder care provider have time to prepare.
Suppose your dad is craving chili, he could have a healthier version made with extremely lean beef or ground turkey. Even better, make a meat-free chili with tofu or extra beans. If he says he’s craving fish and chips, you could bake the fish in panko crumbs and toss the potatoes in egg white and bake those too.
As you plan out the menu, keep track of the items he needs to purchase and what he has available. You’ll build a shopping list that you can take to the store when you or someone else helps him shop.
When you know what your dad needs, you’ll need to start shopping. Bring him out and help him make the right choices by reading labels, showing him what he needs to look for, and how to shop sales to stock up when prices are low.
Keep track of items that you can store for a long time. If you find dried pinto beans on sale, those don’t have to be used quickly, so you should stock up. They’re great for baked beans, chili, soups, veggie burgers, and salads.
Make sure you don’t buy more fresh produce or meats that he can use. If you find he’s throwing out things because they go back before he needs them, it’s time to start paying closer attention to his spending and meal plans to make sure he’s not sneaking in takeout.
Work With a Dietitian and Hire Elder Care Providers
If your dad’s health insurance allows it, schedule a visit with a dietitian. It helps to get professional insight into the foods your dad should eat that also match his preferences. You’ll walk away with tips on how to choose healthy foods that meet his dietary needs without boring him.
Your dad’s diet can stay on track with the help of an elder care aide. Your dad may not enjoy cooking, but that doesn’t mean he has to keep relying on frozen dinners and takeout meals. Arrange to have elder care aides help him plan meals, shop for groceries, and cook the meals that help him eat healthily.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care Services in the Kansas City MO area, please contact the caring staff at Elder Care of Kansas City, today. Proudly serving Jackson, Clay, Platte, and Cass Counties in Missouri as well as Johnson and Wyandotte Counties in Kansas for over 30 years. Call us at 816-333-3322.
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