Eating healthy is good for everyone, but wholly essential for older adults. If you are new to healthy eating, there is more to it than just deciding to focus on your nutrition – that’s only the first step! There is some planning, shopping and preparation involved, but you don’t need to become a planning guru in order to shop for the right ingredients and prepare healthy meals to eat each day. Our experts’ tips for healthy meal planning will help you find the nutritional food you need that sharpens your mind, makes you feel better, boosts your immunity, and makes you stronger. So, where do you start exactly? What should you add to your shopping list for nutritional meals on a limited budget?
These Foods Should Be On Your Grocery List
Everyone should eat enough nutritional foods throughout the day. Though older adults tend to eat less, that doesn’t mean they can’t obtain the proper nutrition – it only means they have to eat “smarter.” If you are a senior, here are some smart food choices you should include on your grocery list:
Beef and other meats are not the only proteins available; you should also try alternatives such as tuna, eggs, cheese, Greek yogurt, and various nut butters, including peanut butter, if allergies allow. What can you do with a less expensive cut of meat? Make stews, soups, and casseroles! Add vegetables, beans, and whole grains for filling and healthy meals that are easy to prepare in one pot and eat. Remember, you need protein to keep your muscles strong to perform your daily tasks.
- Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and fiber. Although they are often difficult to chew, they absolutely should reserve a space on your shopping list. Make smoothies with fruit and vegetables to get your daily portions – you won’t even taste the grated zucchini, promise. Purchase frozen carrots and broccoli, then cook them until soft for easier chewing. If you’re not crazy about the taste of veggies, you could blend them into a broth and add them to tomato sauce for whole-grain pasta.
- Whole Grains
Are medications, poor hydration, and your lifestyle making you constipated? Add whole grains to your shopping list because they contain digestion-regulating fiber. Your go-to whole grains could be rice and oatmeal if you have a wheat allergy, or pasta and bread if wheat is not a problem for you. If someone doesn’t like the taste of whole grains, such as whole wheat pasta, mix it with normal pasta until they adapt.
Eating Well On A Budget
Eating nutritiously when you have a limited budget is challenging, but there are ways to overcome this. Make a grocery list before shopping, stick to it, and you will cut down on impulse purchases. Spoil yourself once a month with something you don’t usually buy, and the discipline you show the rest of the time feels easier. Join a grocery store savings club if there is one in your area, use discount coupons, and buy items in bulk with a friend. Purchasing in large quantities can be cheaper, but only if it’s something you will use up.
Is there a farmer’s market in your area? Go with a family member or friend to purchase fresh seasonal vegetables and fruit. If you don’t have someone to go with that day, someone will always be ready to answer your questions and chat at the market. You might even find perishable items are sold at a discount by the end of the day.
Let A UMC HomeWorks Home Health Aide Help You Eat Better
Did you know that people eat healthier when they have someone to cook and eat with? UMC HomeWorks provides homecare help for seniors, and our home health aide services include meal preparation, feeding, and shopping. The home health aides consult with our staff nutritionists to ensure your shopping list is affordable, healthy, and delicious!
UMC HomeWorks’ caregivers are state-certified home health aides (CHHA) screened for experience, compassion, and patience in dealing with seniors. We develop a unique care plan for each of our senior adults with nursing assessments by a Registered Nurse (RN). Please visit our website for more information or contact us today if you want a home health aide to assist you or a loved one with eating healthy: https://umcommunities.org/homeworks/
This blog was originally published at https://umcommunities.org/homeworks/blog/shopping-healthy-on-a-budget/