Making Sure Older Adults Are Getting Proper Nutrients | Executive Care of Richmond

The role nutrition plays in overall health for seniors is something that is commonly known and documented.

Ensuring that your aging loved one is getting the right nutrients and proper amount of meals in daily can help minimize the risks often brought on by dehydration and improper nutrition.

Nutrition for Seniors

There are many nutrients that can be beneficial for seniors, not to mention necessary for optimal health.

These include:

  • Calcium and vitamin D. Both help maintain bone health, and a proper diet should include at least three servings of calcium-rich foods and beverages each day.
  • Fiber. This can help lower risk for heart disease and help prevent Type 2 diabetes, as well as help keep the digestive system running smoothly.
  • Potassium. By increasing potassium and reducing sodium intake, there can be a lower risk of high blood pressure. Instead of using salt, try flavoring foods with herbs and spices.
  • Vitamin B12. It’s not uncommon for those 50 and older to not get enough B12, but this can be helped through things like fortified cereals and fruit juices, dark green leafy vegetables and milk.
  • Fats. Not all fat is bad—the healthy kind of fats are found in things like nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil and fish.

Choosemyplate.gov can serve as an excellent resource to ensure your aging loved one’s nutritional needs are being met through his or her daily meals and snacks.

Tasty, But Simple Meal Ideas

Not sure what types of meals can help provide the nutrients your loved one needs as well as being easy to make? There are plenty of excellent suggestions for breakfast, lunch and dinner that will prove simple and delicious:

Breakfast:

  • Warm oatmeal and berries
  • Hard-boiled egg with a side of fruit and slice of whole-wheat toast
  • Yogurt parfait
  • Whole-grain pancakes

Lunch:

  • Quinoa salad
  • Southwest omelet (ideal for breakfast or lunch)
  • Salmon wrap made from canned boneless skinless salmon placed on a whole-grain wrap with avocado, tomatoes, greens and plain yogurt

Dinner:

  • Shrimp and fresh greens, made with sautéed fresh veggies and cocktail shrimp that has been peeled, cooked and chilled
  • Beans and rice
  • Southwest chicken salad, made from boneless, skinless chicken breast that is cooked on a skillet with salsa

Cooking can be made easier by taking the time to sit down with your aging loved one and making a meal plan for the week, being sure to write everything down.

You can make it a family meal prep activity and prepare a week of meals so all that is needed is to remove things from the fridge and simply eat or heat up and eat. Most importantly, be sure to vary up the menu items from time to time to make sure boredom doesn’t pop up.

Making sure that your aging loved one is getting the nutritional meals he or she needs doesn’t have to be a concern with the in-home care services provided by Executive Care of Richmond. If you would like to learn more about our in-home care services, contact us to get the conversation started.

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