A menu planning program can make it easier for seniors in residential care to maintain a healthy weight.
As we age, weight management becomes more difficult. Many seniors carry extra pounds and slimming down can both reduce the risk of medical complications and improve quality of life. That said, weight loss can lead to the loss of muscle mass and increase frailty if not undertaken carefully.
The basic principles of weight management in the golden years aren’t all that different than during any other stage of life. However, certain factors need special consideration. A menu planning program like Grove Menus helps nursing homes and senior care centers ensure that their residents maintain a healthy weight.
No. 1: Packing in the Protein
Because seniors are at risk for losing muscle mass when losing weight, protein intake should be a primary focus of menu planning.
Eating enough protein helps support muscle growth and repair and increasing protein intake can help counteract muscle loss. Also, protein-rich meals make seniors feel full for longer, making them less likely to reach for unhealthy snacks.
No. 2: Keeping Seniors Hydrated
Drinking plenty of water is critical for digestion and weight management, yet the sense of thirst diminishes as we age. Medications and chronic health conditions can make this problem worse. A meal planning program offers solutions, including flavored waters, foods with high water content, savory beverages and other healthy drinks to help keep seniors hydrated.
No. 3: Practicing Portion Control
Older adults generally require fewer calories to maintain a healthy weight, but many seniors continue to eat as much as they did in their younger years.
Portion control is essential, and menu planning programs have tricks that shave off calories without leaving seniors feeling deprived. Making small changes like serving smaller, more frequent meals and incorporating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains can make a world of difference in weight management.
No. 4: Planning Healthy Menus
Many older adults have unique health concerns that require a special diet. Meeting those needs with an eye toward weight management is much less difficult with a menu planning program like Grove Menus. Delicious and nutritious dietitian-approved recipes are included, and each can be easily modified to accommodate individual dietary needs and weight goals.
As a result, planning healthy senior menus is as easy as a few clicks of the mouse.
In addition to meal planning, the Grove Menus program features an integrated suite of user-friendly tools that facilitate food service operations. Our software system is designed to improve senior nutrition, reduce food waste and cut food costs at nursing homes and adult care centers.
Adopting the Grove Menus program is a smart, cost-effective approach to helping seniors maintain a healthy weight. For more information, or to schedule a free, no-pressure demonstration of our menu planning program, contact us today.