Nutrition for Seniors
Eating provides the critical fuel that we all need to lead healthy, balanced lives. Seniors face specific challenges, ranging from difficulty chewing to problems with digesting to special dietary needs owing to changing metabolism or medications. Working with a nutritionist guarantees that your senior is eating a healthy and balanced diet.
Better Nutrition and Eating Habits
Eating disorders and difficulties are not the sole province of the elderly, and as a society we have long had problems associated with food ranging from eating too much to eating too little. Also, after decades of living busy lifestyles, many Americans have developed generally bad eating habits that extend into old age.
For better eating habits and nutritional results, there are some solid ideas for getting the senior in your life to eat better. Any plan should begin with an increase in healthy calories. Some excellent ways to boost caloric intake include:
- Milk shakes and smoothies: they pack a lot of calories, and make great meals for seniors with problems chewing and digesting their food.
- Dehydrated milk: add to cereal or a creamy sauce to boost calories and needed protein.
- Eggnog: it's not just for the holidays! And it also delivers lots of calories.
The social component of dinner should not be disregarded. While we once ate at our desk or on the go, consider a slower based regimen with your loved ones. As an example, no one likes to eat alone, and that is probably truer of the elderly person in your life, so carve out an opportunity to sit down and enjoy a meal with them.
Additionally, eating slower is not only better on the digestive system, particularly for older digestive systems, but it provides a better social component that is as important to your senior's overall health as a balanced, nutritious diet.
Better Nutrition in Smaller Packages
We have become accustomed to skipping the occasional meal as we move through our busy days but as we age, our days become less busy and our need for regular sustenance increases. For seniors, its important that they increase their intake of fruits, vegetables, and fibers to boost the healthy enzymes available in plants.
For an ideal dining situation for an elderly family member, have them eat five or six small meals throughout the day, and if you are going to splurge, make sure that you make lunch the biggest meal of the day. This gives the body longer to digest food before going to sleep, and ensures that you will not lose any sleep over a digestive problem in the middle of the night.