The last time you performed a senior wellness check for your elder loved one, did you stop to check out what they’ve been eating?

Many friends and family of seniors are more concerned with keeping their homes clean and safe than monitoring their refrigerators. However, seniors are at particular risk of falling into bad eating habits.

As their strength and mobility begin to deteriorate, they might not want to invest the same time they once did into cooking wholesome meals. As a result, they gravitate towards simple but unhealthy foods, like boxed dinners and microwaveable meals.

Foods like these, while tasty, might not provide them with the nutrition they need to stay healthy.

The next time you do a senior wellness check, keep in mind this information about how to encourage your loved one to eat healthfully.

Meal planning: Take the time to sit down with your senior and plan out a healthy meal plan. If you can identify the healthy foods that your loved one enjoys, you can build menus that she will be more likely to eat.

Take a weekend day or evening to batch cook with her, enjoying her company while you cook. Take advantage of the seasonal fruits and vegetables available in the Lowcountry.

Invest in a slow cooker: As many busy adults know, slow cookers can help to save time and energy when it comes to preparing wholesome meals.

There are countless easy and delicious recipes to be found that require simply putting the ingredients in and waiting for the device to do the work. There are even many pre-packaged slow cooker meals that can be found at the grocery store, so seniors can simply put the ingredients in the crock pot without needing to worry about chopping, slicing, or standing around.

Accompany your senior to the store: When you have the time, why not go along with your senior loved one to the grocery store? You can keep an eye on what he’s purchasing and make suggestions for healthy alternatives.

Take advantage of the roadside fruit and vegetables stands. You might even be able to suggest some of your own healthy and easy-to-prepare favorites. This is also a great way to spend quality time together, turning a burdensome chore into a fun and meaningful outing.

Join a local meal delivery service: Take advantage of a nutritious meal delivery service that delivers delicious home cooked meals to the home. Your senior can choose from healthy meals that they will enjoy. Individually prepared meals are delivered weekly.

Jennifer Redmond is the family care coordinator for Senior Helpers of Hilton Head Island.