Basic food items to keep on hand for Senior Health

Stocking the Pantry to Promote Better Senior Health

By Will Reid, 8:00 am on

Shopping for groceries and preparing meals becomes more challenging for people as they age. As a leading provider of hourly and live-in care in Cincinnati, we’ve found that when the pantry, freezer or cupboard is bare, elderly adults are more tempted to resort to unhealthy choices like take-out and fast food. You can help ensure that your loved one has healthy alternatives available at home by stocking up the kitchen with tasty and nutritious options for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Pantry-Stocking Strategies

Your aging parent or family member will be more likely to choose healthy foods when they’re simple and easy to prepare. Here are our three favorite canned foods that are ideal for a senior’s pantry and nutritional needs:

  • Beans. Beans fall into the “superfood” category, offering soluble fiber that helps lower blood glucose levels, insoluble fiber that helps the digestion, carbohydrates for energy, protein for strong muscles and essential nutrients like folate and potassium.
  • Tuna and Salmon. Packed with protein, tuna and salmon are an excellent source for heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which can increase the body’s “good” cholesterol levels. Your elderly family member will benefit from eating healthy fish two to three times each week.
  • Tomato Sauce and Paste. All tomatoes contain lycopene, a nutrient with antioxidant effects that helps reduce the risk of multiple cancers including prostate and breast, and can protect against heart attacks. Studies have shown that cooked tomatoes and tomato paste have even higher levels of lycopene than fresh tomatoes, making these a great addition to the pantry.

Beverages and Snacks

Snack foods perfect for the pantry include healthy nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts and sunflower seeds as well as dried fruits like apricots, dates and raisins. Instead of canned soda – which has little nutritional value – stock up on packets of green tea, and packaged boxes of soy, almond, or coconut milk for healthy drink alternatives.

What About Vitamins?

Although vitamin supplements can be beneficial for seniors under certain circumstances, they can also pose unexpected risks, especially when combined with some medications. Your loved one can get most of the nutrients he or she needs from a well-stocked pantry, and should consult a doctor before using non-prescribed supplements.

Interested in learning more about senior nutrition and health? Visit our website at www.homecareassistancecincinnati.com or contact us directly at 513-891-2273 to speak with a Care Manager. We are available 24/7 and are more than happy to answer any of your questions.