A 2014 Resolution to Improve Junior and Senior Health through Nutrition

With the New Year around the corner, many people are putting pen to paper and creating a list of New Year’s resolution. The most popular resolution involves some aspect of eating better, losing weight, and improving overall health. Those who care for others can aim to include their loved ones too.

For example, an adult child may set a goal to help their elder parent eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, and to cut out some of the processed foods that are staples in the diet of many senior citizens, as well as the lunches we pack for our kids.

Many people make resolutions annually, but never take action to follow through. Successful people know that writing down the goal is only the first step. Increase your chances of having success at your goal by making a written plan that shows you how to follow through. Here are some examples to consider:

  • I will keep fresh fruits and vegetables available at all times, because if we have healthy food choices in the home we are more likely to eat them.
  • I will wash and cut up fresh fruit and veggies as soon as I get home from the store, because if they are ready to eat and right in front of us, we are more likely to eat them.
  • I will stay away from unhealthy processed foods. If the junk food isn’t in the house, we will end up making better choices as a family.
  • I will make a grocery list with each dinner listed out before I go to the store, and I will not add unhealthy impulse buys to my cart. This will save time, money, and help keep the junk food out of the house.
  • We will try at least one new healthy food recipe each week, so that healthy food becomes an adventure.

When making your grocery list and shopping for food, keep in mind the dietary needs, portion sizes, and the suggested calorie intake of the elderly and/or children you care for. If you are unsure about the nutritional needs of those in your household, Canadians can get a free copy of Canada’s Food Guide via PDF or mail, available in English or French. This guide covers topics for all ages, and is a handy reference to have available. Another great resource is the Dieticians of Canada website, which has a factsheet for those who shop and cook for the elderly called “Planning Meals.”

With the New Year around the corner, don’t forget to include those you love and care for in your resolutions. Make an actionable plan, follow through, and everyone in the household will benefit in the year to come from a healthier diet. No one ever regrets eating better, losing a few extra pounds, or improving overall health through diet.

Do you have another tip for reaching this popular resolution in 2014? What are some of your resolutions? Be sure to leave a comment and let us know!

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