Now that your parents are older, they no longer enjoy cooking meals. Cooking for two doesn’t hold the same appeal as when your mom cooked for an entire family. They’ve turned to processed foods and takeout. You’re worried that they’re not eating the amount of fruits and vegetables they need for optimal health.
You can’t be there every night to make sure they’re eating properly. What do you do? Here are five tips for making sure your parents eat enough produce.
Add Vegetables to Smoothies.
It’s often easier to get vegetables into a breakfast smoothie. Your parent drinks his or her vegetables without even knowing it. Kale, spinach, and carrots are three vegetables that blend well with strong tasting fruits like pineapple, banana, and oranges.
Some companies make frozen fruit blends that include the kale and spinach already chopped up. Place the frozen smoothie mix in the blender with some apple or orange juice, puree it, and there’s a vegetable and fruit smoothie ready in seconds.
Create Easy to Heat Meals.
If your parent doesn’t like cooking, make things that they can cook quickly. Mix up a dozen eggs with chopped vegetables and pour it onto a baking sheet that’s been sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Cool and cut the omelet into squares.
Place those squares on an English muffin and top with a slice of cheese. Wrap in deli paper and pop into the freezer. Each morning, your parent only has to pull out the sandwich, microwave it for a minute, and enjoys a breakfast sandwich that’s packed with vegetables.
Keep Fresh Vegetables and Fruits Prepped and Ready to Eat.
Line one shelf in the fridge with covered containers full of fruits and vegetables that are peeled and chopped. Your parent can snack on them throughout the day. If they don’t have to take the time to prepare the item, they may willingly eat it.
Focus on Favorites.
Taste buds weaken as you age. Items your parent used to love may no longer be appealing. Make sure you keep up to date on fruits and vegetables that they really like and avoid those that don’t appeal to them anymore.
Each week, try something new together. You spy a dragon fruit in the grocery store, buy it and join your parent as you try it together. You’ll find new favorites that way and know what to buy your mom or dad in the future.
Hire a Caregiver.
If your parent isn’t eating fruits and vegetables because they hate cooking, hire a caregiver. An elder care specialist can cook meals for your parents and eat with them. Seniors often eat well if they have company. Call an elder care agency to learn more about meal preparation services.