Did you know that October is National Vegetarian Month? Now is the perfect time to talk with your senior about how eating more plant-based foods can help her to have more energy, sleep better, and generally feel better. She might also be a lot healthier, too. Talk with her doctor about whether there are any plant-based foods your senior should avoid and then try some of these ideas throughout the month.
Start Out with One or Two Meatless Meals a Week
It’s much more difficult to embrace a dietary change like going vegetarian if your senior goes cold turkey, so to speak. A much better solution is to try out one or two meatless meals a week and then ramp up slowly from there. This gives your senior a chance to try out some ideas and yet still have the majority of her meals be familiar and comfortable. You don’t want this to cause stress or anxiety for your elderly family member.
Make Some Substitutions in Favorite Dishes
Another idea is to make some simple swaps in favorite meals. For instance, you can replace meat entirely with some vegetarian versions or with additional vegetables. Or you might consider just adding additional vegetables to dishes that you know she’ll eat. This can help her to get used to eating more plant-based foods in general.
Look for Tasty Vegetarian Recipes to Try
There are lots of tasty vegetarian recipes out there, but your senior might not know much about them. One way to explore is to go through some magazines or websites with her and look for what sounds good to her. You might search by foods that you know she likes, for instance. Having help making these meals might make a difference, too, so consider bringing in senior home care.
Don’t Force It if Your Senior Hates It
Has your senior given the idea of vegetarian eating a solid try and she still hates it? Don’t try to force it. It’s tempting to remind her of the benefits and try to make her switch to a full vegetarian diet, but that’s not a great idea. Ultimately, it’s going to make your senior feel as if you’re taking choices and control away from her and she might stop eating altogether. None of that is what you want, and it can damage her health.
Get Some Help with Vegetarian Meal Prep
Prepping for vegetarian meals might be a lot of what keeps your senior from embracing it. This is where home care providers can help her out a ton. Senior home care providers can take over the more complicated aspects of prepping vegetarian meals and your elderly family member can focus on just enjoying the meals. This is a great option for lots of activities that are becoming more difficult for your senior, too.
Eating more plant-based foods might be what you and your senior’s doctor want for her but remember that she may not be on board with the idea fully. Just adding a few more fruits and vegetables to her regular diet is a huge win.