March is National Nutrition Month, and this year’s theme is “Eat Right, Bite by Bite.” This idea reminds us that every bite of healthy nutrition is a step in the right direction. Small changes can make a significant impact over time. Caregivers can work with Senior Citizens in setting small health goals that lead to overall better outcomes.
Setting Small Goals
Eating right, bite by bite means setting small, achievable goals to change dietary habits one step at a time. Start by helping your Senior Citizen analyze their current eating habits. Keep a food journal for a week to get an idea of what your loved one eats every day. From there, you can determine what changes you need to make.
A variety of foods is essential to a healthy diet. People need fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, protein, and healthy fats. Determine what your Senior is doing well with and what needs changing. Making simple replacements goes a long way in changing habits over time. Some goals may be:
- Eat one extra serving of fruit per day
- Instead of russet potatoes, cook carrots or sweet potatoes
- Add dark, leafy greens such as broccoli or spinach
- Replace sour cream with nonfat Greek yogurt
- Skip refined grains and go with whole-grain alternatives
- Switch from solid fats to oils when preparing food
- Choose low-sodium snacks
Tuna Salad Sandwich Surprise Recipe
There are many creative ways to switch up traditional recipes with a healthy alternative. For example, this tuna salad foregoes mayo in favor of silken tofu — which adds a creamy texture and extra protein.
Preparation time: 20 min.
Two cans of light tuna
1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
1/4 cup grapes, quartered
3 Tbsp walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup minced onion
Salt and pepper to taste
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
4 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup shelled sunflower seeds
4 oz package of silken tofu
1/2 tsp Italian herbs
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
For the Sandwiches:
8 slices of whole-wheat bread, lightly toasted
1. Drain the tuna and mix with celery, walnuts, grapes, onion, salt, and pepper.
2. Blend dressing ingredients in a blender, adding oil a little at a time until sunflower seeds are ground.
3. Add the desired amount of dressing with tuna mixture.
4. Serve on whole-wheat toast with lettuce and tomato.
Our trained Companion Caregivers or Certified Homemaker-Home Health Aides can help in supporting your loved one’s healthy eating habits. Anita’s Angels, Inc. – We Are Families Helping Families. Call 908-788-9390.