Delicious Ways to Get More Whole Grains in Your Parent's Diet

Senior Care in Mason MI

Senior Care in Mason MISeptember is Whole Grains Month. This is the perfect opportunity for you to help your parent to enjoy more of the goodness of whole grains in their daily diet. Whole grains are just what their name suggests: foods that contain the whole segment of a particular grain. This is as opposed to refined grains that have been processed and much of their nutritional benefits removed. Eating whole grains provides valuable dietary fiber, protein, complex carbohydrates, and other nutrients that help to ward off a variety of serious illnesses including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even some cancers. They also support a healthier weight as well as sustained energy.

Try these delicious ways to encourage your aging loved one to get more whole grains into their diet:

• Make simple swaps. Your elderly parent may be accustomed to certain foods, and eating more whole grains does not have to mean that they are no longer able to eat those foods. Instead, encourage them to swap out refined grain products with whole grain versions. For example, rather than eating white pasta in their favorite macaroni and cheese recipe, trade it out for a whole wheat version.

• Make little changes. Switching to whole grain can seem like a major change and that can be stressful and intimidating for your parent. Instead, make it simpler by encouraging them to just make little changes. When they are baking at home, have them switch out half of the flour for a whole grain version. Encourage them to change their bread to a "whole wheat white" version that is close to white bread but has the goodness of whole grain. Remind them that oatmeal is a fantastic whole grain and a familiar, comforting breakfast.

• Experiment. Getting a little adventurous may be the perfect way for your parent to discover that eating more whole grain does not have to be intimidating. Explore together and find products made from different types of whole grains than what they usually eat. For example, try some quinoa as a side dish, or add barley to soups. These hearty flavors are delicious and satisfying, and make your parent feel as though they are adding to their diet rather than taking away.

Making the switch to eating a healthier diet can be challenging for some older adults. Many seniors have been eating largely the same diet throughout most of their lives and the thought of changing can be intimidating. They may worry that they will not like the new foods that they need to eat, or think that they will not know how to properly prepare them. They may think that eating a healthier diet means that they will no longer be able to enjoy their favorite foods and flavors. This is where a senior care provider can be a tremendous source of help and support. A senior home care services provider can go to the grocery store with your aging loved one to help then select healthy foods, research recipes with them to find options that sound appealing, and help them with meal and snack preparation so that eating healthier, including getting more whole grains into their diet, becomes an adventure to enjoy rather than something to dread.

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Mason, MI, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Lansing. Call today: 517-332-9953.