Healthy Eating for Seniors: Winter Nutrition Tips

Here at Home Instead Wimbledon and Kingston we are eager to support our Care Professionals in aiding their clients to eat nutritionally.

Healthy Eating for Seniors: Winter Nutrition Tips

Healthy Eating for Seniors: Winter Nutrition Tips

Eating well is important to your overall health and wellbeing and can be a key area of concern for those who are caring for seniors. Here at Home Instead Wimbledon and Kingston we are eager to support our Care Professionals in aiding their clients to eat nutritionally. The health of our Care Professionals is important too, so you might pick up some handy hints that you could benefit from yourselves! 

Why Seniors Need to Eat Well in the Winter

Ideally, we need to eat well the year round, but we know that our appetites and habits can change with the seasons. Here’s why healthy eating is of key importance in colder weather.

  1. In the wintertime, the change in weather and temperature can have a detrimental effect on your eating habits. While a healthy salad or refreshing piece of fruit might take our fancy in the summer, in the winter we’re more likely to reach for warming, filling dishes like pies, roast dinners, and sticky toffee pudding. While these popular winter dishes can be enjoyed in moderation, it’s important not to automatically opt for stodgy, heavy foods.
  2. In the winter we tend to be less active, and this is particularly true for seniors. Many people don’t fancy going out in the cold, wet weather, and so with more time spent at home and sat on the sofa, it’s easy to start feeling sluggish. Eating well can give seniors the energy they need to keep active, even if they aren’t leaving the house as much.
  3. You could consider visiting local cafes and restaurants that support healthy eating and offer senior discounts. The Cornerstore Pub and Restaurant in Kingston is a great idea for one of your meals out. 

How to Support Your Clients in Making Nutritional Choices

Whether your client just needs a helping hand, or you are integrally involved in choosing, buying and preparing their meals, there are ways that you can support them in making choices to stay nourished.

  1. The best way to support a client who you help with mealtimes is to get them involved. Whether it’s taking them with you to the shops, asking them to give a hand in the kitchen, or even just consulting them about the menu for the week, getting your client involved is a way to grant them autonomy over their own lives. Make adjustments depending on what they’d like to be involved with and give them opportunities to flourish.
  2. Giving your client choices, rather than deciding for them, is a great way to restore dignity if they’re feeling a lack of independence. Also remember to respect their choices – if they choose ice-cream instead of fruit salad, honour their decision. When making a meal plan, give them healthy choices and encourage them to try new things.
  3. If you’re taking your client shopping in Wimbledon or Kingston, which shops are you most likely to visit? It’s easy to pick the same things when you always go to the same shop, but perhaps your client would like to try something different? We encourage you to visit Health Zone Shop and Clinic Wimbledon.

Tips for Preparing Healthy Meals

  1. Seniors can often get stuck in a rut when it comes to variety at mealtime, but variation is a key element of healthy eating. We all know the ‘5 a day’ rule, but did you also know that we should be aiming for ’30 different plants per week’? A piece of fruit every day is good, but consuming 7 bananas a week won’t be nearly as beneficial for you as having a mixed variety in the same quantity. While your Home Instead clients might not be interested in trying unusual foreign dishes or things they aren’t used to, you can make small changes to add variety, such as trying a small bowl of nuts or some hummus with pitta bread, instead of the usual biscuits for an afternoon snack.
  2. As we age, the amount we need to eat each day reduces. Inflated portion sizes are an issue for seniors who might continue eating larger portions out of habit, when they actually don’t need so many calories. Incrementally adjust large portions to reflect your client’s lifestyle and ensure they’re not overeating. Hydration is a key factor too – most of us don’t drink nearly enough fluid, so aim to include water-heavy foods (cucumber, apples, tomatoes…) on the menu, as well as offering plenty of water to drink.
  3. If you want ideas about new recipes to try, make an activity out of it. You and your client could spend time looking at some home cookbooks or visit the local library if they don’t have any at home. Another option is searching online – start with this list of recipes recommended by Age UK and see if anything takes their fancy.

For more information and guidance on nutrition for older adults, this article will provide some handy tips. Also, always remember to double check that a client doesn’t have allergies or intolerances when preparing new dishes, particularly including grapefruit (whole or juiced) which can interact with some medications. Also find out if clients have received any specific advice from their GP regarding their diet. 

At Home Instead Wimbledon and Kingston, we believe that eating healthy is crucial for seniors to maintain their overall well-being and quality of life. As we approach the winter season, it becomes even more important to pay attention to nutrition. Cold weather can weaken the immune system, making seniors more susceptible to illnesses. By consuming a balanced diet rich in vitamins and nutrients, seniors can boost their immune system and stay healthy during the winter months. Remember, a healthy diet not only nourishes the body but also supports mental clarity and emotional well-being. Let’s prioritise our health this winter season by making nutritious choices every day.

At Home Instead Wimbledon and Kingston, we are dedicated to providing exceptional in-home care services to seniors in the Wimbledon and Kingston areas. Our team of compassionate Care Professionals is committed to helping seniors live independently and comfortably in their own homes.

If you or a loved one are in need of in-home care services, we encourage you to contact us at 0208 942 4137.

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