If you have found yourself in a mealtime rut, it might be time to make a few simple upgrades that benefit your health and happiness. Don’t miss these 5 helpful ideas:
Plan a Weekly Menu
Planning out what you are going to eat for the week not only helps you make smarter food choices, but it can save you time, money, and stress too! When you shop just for the things you’ll need for your meals, you often end up throwing out less food because you don’t buy items you forget to eat.
Weekly menus also encourage you to try new recipes and combinations of healthy ingredients, making you an active player in your diet and therefore your health. Some of the best ways to plan menus are to write them down on paper or a small dry-erase board, or use your computer or smartphone to create a digital calendar that lists what you want to each on each upcoming day.
Simplify Grocery Shopping
Older people sometimes forgo their own nutrition because of mobility issues which limit their driving or ability to get to the store and shop. If the idea of shopping for groceries is overwhelming, don’t fret.
The digital age is welcoming a new wave of services that make getting the food you need easier than ever. Order your shopping online from local stores and have them delivered right to your door from shops like Supervalu and Tesco.
Create an Atmosphere for Eating
One common age-related development is diminished appetite and thirst. Being less active means your body needs fewer calories, and sometimes eating isn’t as enjoyable if your senses of taste and smell are impaired.
Make time for mealtime rituals and create an atmosphere that encourages eating by setting the table (napkin, fork, glass, plate, etc.) and maintaining traditions like saying grace before you eat, lighting a candle at the table, or playing music. Some researchers have found that mealtime traditions like these may enhance your experience of eating and even make what you eat taste better.
Make Eating Easier
If you are struggling to eat lunch while watching TV without making a mess, it might be time to ditch the tiny side table your cluttering full of stuff and opt for a more accessible piece of equipment like a TV tray table or an overbed table on wheels.
Additional adaptive eating equipment like spill-proof bowls and rocking knives can simplify mealtime and save you the trouble of cleaning up messes as well. If conditions like arthritis or Parkinson’s make gripping utensils difficult, consider buying self-stabilize flatware or wide, rubber handle grippers that slip over your forks, knives, and spoons to make holding them easier and less painful.
Invite a Friend to Join You
Meals are a welcoming excuse to invite a friend or family member over to catch up. From cooking together (or going out) to simply eating and conversing, this type of social interaction has more health benefits than you know.
Not only does regularly engaging with others benefit your own mood and confidence, but it can help combat depression, anxiety, and social isolation, as well as boost your brain health. Research has shown that social interaction provides a mental workout which can benefit your memory and help you exercise language, problem-solving, and listening skills.
Finding new and creative ways to spice up your routine may be as simple as upgrading your mealtimes with new dishes, friends, and better eating utensils. Give one of these ideas a whirl today!
Joe Fleming is the President at ViveHealth.com. Interested in all things related to living a healthy lifestyle, he enjoys sharing and expressing his passion through writing. Working to motivate others and defeat aging stereotypes, Joe uses his writing to help all people overcome the obstacles of life. Covering topics that range from management of health conditions, home-based treatments, general health, wellness, and aging all the way to social, news, and inspirational pieces…the goal is help others “rebel against age”.
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