Malnutrition is more than not eating enough. It also occurs when people do not eat enough healthy foods. A diet that is high in processed foods and very few fruits and vegetables leads to malnutrition.
If your mom and dad find it easier to make a packet of ramen noodles each night, their diet is lacking in fiber, antioxidants, and protein. They’re not getting a good balance of vitamins and minerals. While ramen noodles may be easy to cook, they’re lousy in terms of nutritional foods. You need to help them switch to healthy eating habits.
Nutrients Your Parents Need
Your parents need protein. Many seniors don’t get enough. It’s essential for muscle strength. Ideal protein choices include seafood, dried lentils and other beans, and chicken or turkey breast meat. If possible, have your parents mix up their options each day. They could do a vegetarian meal with lentils three days a week, seafood twice a week, and poultry twice a week.
Antioxidants are essential for cell health. Your parents should aim for vegetables in every color group. Red peppers and beets for red vegetables are great. Leafy greens and orange winter squashes and sweet potatoes are other good options. Cruciforms like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage are also important.
Whole grains are important for fiber. Barley has a low glycemic index, so it’s the perfect grain for an older adult who has diabetes or prediabetes. Quinoa, farro, and cracked wheat (bulgur) are other good options. Add in seeds and nuts for additional boosts of fiber. It helps with bowel health and prevents constipation.
Finally, your parents need vitamin D and calcium for strong bones. Low-fat or fat-free dairy options are ideal for this reason. If they don’t like dairy, fortified breakfast cereals and juices help them get enough vitamin D, so will a little time in the sun each day.
Elderly Care Providers Can Help Your Parents Develop Healthy Eating Habits
Aging affects you in more ways than you could imagine. Your stamina may lessen making it harder to want to invest time in standing over a stove or oven. Arthritis pain can make it hard to lift a pot of boiling pasta to a sink. It can be hard to chop meats and vegetables in order to cook them.
If you believe that could be the issue your parents have, call our elderly care agency. Elderly care aides can help your parent plan weekly menus, go shopping, put groceries away, and cook meals for them. They can provide companionship and eat with your parents each night. Call our elderly care agency to talk about the rates and services that meet your parents’ needs.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring professional Elderly Care Services in Somerset County NJ, please talk to the caring staff at Generations Home Health Care today. Providing Home Care in Somerset, Essex, Union, Morris and Hunterdon Counties. Call us today at (908) 290-0691 or (973) 241-4534.
Latest posts by Susan Myer, RN, BSN, CCRN, CDP (see all)
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