Keeping Healthy with Seasonal Eating
Elder Care in Millstone NJ
When it comes to making sure that your elderly loved one stays as healthy as possible, one of the most important things that you can do is improve his diet. Many elderly adults come from a “steak and potatoes” mentality when it comes to food and remember when it was normal for a person to never eat a vegetable that did not come out of a can. By changing this mentality and helping your senior see the importance of giving his body the high quality, nutrient-dense food that it needs to function properly and stay strong, you can help him to improve and maintain his health, ward off a variety of health complications and issues, and experience a more fulfilling lifestyle.
Seasonal eating is exactly what it sounds like: changing up what you eat according to the seasons. This eating philosophy is all about evaluating what is naturally and readily available at that particular time of year and eating around those foods, supplementing only when necessary with other foods. Eating seasonally can make a tremendous difference in your health by providing the greatest density of nutrients for that particular piece of produce. When produce is grown seasonally it is given the opportunity to develop all of the phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants it is naturally supposed to have so it is at its very best for you.
Eating seasonal produce is also a step that you can take to protect the environment. Purchasing seasonally helps to support those farmers who rely on natural agricultural approaches, helping the environment as well as your parent’s health.
For an added benefit, produce that is in season is at its greatest abundance, meaning that it will be the least expensive at this point that at any other point throughout the year. This allows you to fill up your parent’s kitchen with the delicious rainbow of produce that you know they should be eating without feeling like you have stretched their budget too far.
Use these tips to help you make seasonal eating a part of your elder care plan with your aging parent, and share them with his caregiver so that you can team up with her to keep his diet fresh, exciting, delicious, and healthy:
• Know what is growing. Do some research to find out what is truly in season in your area at each point during the year. This will give you an idea of what to look for when you go shopping.
• Visit a farmer’s market. When the harvests start coming in, farmer’s markets pop up in most towns. These markets are fantastic sources for the freshest, most in-season fruits and vegetables, and a great opportunity to experiment with new flavors. The prices are often far lower than they would be at a grocery store and you have the added benefit of being able to interact with someone who was involved in the actual growing of the produce.
• Join a market share. Market shares or co-op are an opportunity for you to “buy in” to a farm and receive the bounty of their harvest in return. The money that you give them helps them to support their farm and then they send you a box each month of the freshest options from that season. This is the perfect opportunity for you to get to know the farmers in your area and to try new things that you may want to purchase more of later.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care services in Millstone, NJ or the surrounding areas, please call Independence Home Care today at 609-208-1111 for more information.