Your dad is a meat and potatoes kind of guy. He loves lasagna, shepherd’s pie, and stew. He’s also been diagnosed with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. He’s been told to improve his diet.
He doesn’t have to give up his favorites. He can enjoy new versions of his childhood favorites. Here are easy ways to take your dad’s favorite meals and make them healthier.
Switch His Pasta
The inexpensive pasta that stores sell has little nutritional value. Whole grain pasta is better. Pasta made with vegetables like cauliflower is a better idea. Making your own is another option as it lets you control the ingredients and replace some of the flour with vegetables like spinach and artichokes. Consider using lentil flour to make your pasta.
Instead of noodles, consider using vegetables. Thin slices of eggplant or zucchini match the width of a lasagna noodle. They’ll also soak up the flavor of the tomato sauce.
Convert Him to Healthier Fats
Replace the oils in your dad’s kitchen with healthier options like walnut oil, avocado oil, and olive oil. Your dad loves a hot baguette with butter. See if you can’t get him to give up the butter and dip his bread in olive oil instead. Even one small step is better than not making any changes.
Make Your Own Sauces
Jarred pasta sauce is high in salt and often contains added sugar. Make your pasta sauces using low-sodium or no-salt-added canned tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vegetables, and herbs. If you make a large batch, you can freeze the extra.
You can also make pesto and salad dressings at home. You control the ingredients, which reduces the amount of salt being used.
Tricks for Cutting Salt
People often over salt their foods. Instead of salt, keep salt-free spice blends, such as Mrs. Dash, on hand. Herbs and spices add flavor without any extra salt. You’ll also find that lemon and lime juice and peel add flavor that eliminates the need for salt.
Replace the Meat
Protein is important, but your dad doesn’t have to eat meat at each meal. Swap out one or two meals a week for a vegetarian meal. Instead of meat in chili, make it with dried lentils or beans. If your dad loves stew, make a hearty stew but replace the beef with portobello mushrooms.
Help your dad keep his new diet on track. Arrange elder care services and let a caregiver help with menu planning and meal preparation. The caregiver can join your dad in the grocery store and help him make the right choices when choosing items. Elder care can also arrange to have a caregiver join your dad for meals, keep him company, and encourage him to stick to a new exercise routine.
If you or an aging loved one needs Elder Care in Folsom, CA, remember Senior Home Care Services. Call us at (916) 514-7006 for more information.