One change that often happens around this time of the year involves our eating habits. When cooler weather hits, it's common to choose comfort foods such as casseroles, soups and stews as compared to the Summer months when many tend to choose lighter meals, like salads and lean, grilled meats. While comfort foods go well with Fall and cooler weather, it's important to keep in mind that those types of foods usually contain more fat and sodium.
Cooler weather doesn't have to mean goodbye to healthy food options. There are many in-season vegetables to enjoy during this time of the year, and there are ways to enjoy comfort foods while watching the fat and sodium content.
Below are some Fall-inspired nutrition tips for seniors to help you stay well throughout these cooler months. Please remember to contact your healthcare professional before starting a new diet regimen.
Reduce Fat with Baking - In the Summer, grilling is a popular, lean method of cooking meats and even vegetables. When the weather turns colder and it's not inviting to go outside to use the grill, frying foods in oil might be an option that many turn to. Reduce your fat intake by baking those foods, instead.
Enjoy Fall Vegetables - Summer isn't the only time to enjoy healthy, delicious fresh vegetables. There are plenty of vegetables that grow in the Fall that you can enjoy and incorporate into your meals for a healthy kick. Some of those include broccoli, peas, cauliflower, green beans, pumpkins, squash and sweet potatoes. You can even replace the not-so-healthy ingredients in comfort foods with these vegetables. If making a stew, for example, try replacing the fatty meats with protein-rich vegetables such as peas, beans and lentils.
Watch Portions - While a healthy, well-balanced diet is key for seniors, that doesn't mean that you can't splurge once in a while and eat those not-so-healthy dishes. However, when you do decide to splurge, you can make a difference by watching your portion sizes. Even if you're not splurging, following recommended serving sizes is important.
Season with Herbs and Spices - Instead of enhancing the taste of foods with butter, oil and salt, try using herbs and spices, instead. For example, basil, rosemary and turmeric are great options that are packed with flavor.
Hydrate - When people are outside and more active in the Summer months, they tend to hydrate more versus during the cooler months when they are indoors and may be less active. It's important to stay hydrated at all times of the year and get the recommended amount of water per day.
We hope our Fall-inspired nutrition tips for seniors can help you and your loved one enjoy the foods of the season and stay healthy in the cooler months ahead. If you have other Fall nutrition ideas that you'd like to share, please comment with them below!
Looking for more information on healthy eating? If so, check out our blog post that includes Healthy Eating Habits for Seniors here: https://www.concordialm.org/blog/healthy-eating-habits-for-seniors-2018.
If you have questions about Concordia or are interested in how we can help you and your loved one, please feel free to contact us any time via our online contact form or by calling our administrative headquarters at 724-352-1571. Or, visit the care levels & services page of our website to learn about the types of care we offer, including In-Home Care, Memory Care, Long-Term Nursing Care, Adult Day Services, Hospice Care and more.