Happy New Year! It’s a great time to work on your mom’s diet. Whether she needs to stop eating certain foods due to sensitivities, is experiencing malnutrition, or needs to cut back on sodium, it can be a big change. Here are five tips to help her improve her diet this year.
Find a Balance
Your mom shouldn’t have to give up all of her favorite foods. She just needs to find a balance between the foods she likes and the foods her doctor says she needs to eat. If she has a favorite food, she needs to snack in moderation and stick to a proper portion size.
Find the balance between complete restriction and what’s unhealthy. When she does have a cheat day, she needs to make sure she follows it with a day that’s a bit more restrictive.
Use a Menu Planner
Free apps like Whisk make it easy to plan weekly menus and build shopping lists at the same time. Your mom browses through the recipes, finds what she’s in the mood to eat, and adds them to the weekly menu. She can narrow recipes by her specific need, such as heart-healthy or dairy-free. If she finds a recipe somewhere else, she can copy and paste the link and add it to her Whisk recipe box.
Learn Smart Replacements
It’s natural for your mom to have food cravings. She wants to learn smart replacements for those cravings. Instead of crunchy, salty potato chips, have her snack on roasted almonds. Swap out chocolate cravings for protein balls made with pureed dates, cocoa powder, and almond butter.
If your mom loves fish and chips, you could air fry the fish after coating it in almond flour. Make healthier fries using sliced potatoes that you toss in egg whites and bake.
If she’s craving pizza, make it with a whole grain or cauliflower crust and low-fat cheese, and avoid toppings like bacon, sausage, and pepperoni. Don’t use jarred pizza sauce that’s high in salt and sugar. Instead, make your own.
Take your mom shopping and make sure she understands how to read labels. She needs to pay attention to the added ingredients in food like glucose, which is added sugar, and fructose, also sugar. She should monitor how much sodium is in an item, and how much saturated fat it contains.
If your mom has food sensitivities, she needs to carefully read the ingredients list. For example, if she is lactose intolerant, she needs to be careful about foods that contain milk. She might think chicken noodle soup is safe, but some contain milk in the noodles.
Hire Home Care Aides for Meals and Snacks
If your mom doesn’t cook and prefers ready-to-eat meals, it’s time to hire home care aides. She can have caregivers cooking healthy meals with lean protein, plenty of vegetables, and whole grains. Call a home care agency to discuss services and prices.