As we age, it can be difficult to get enough – and the right kinds – of nutrition. Some older adults have trouble cooking for themselves, while others have a diminished appetite as they get older. If you care for an aging parent or loved one, we know it can be challenging to make sure they are getting the vitamins and nutrients necessary for optimal health and longevity. That’s why we wanted to share some guidelines for nutrition that older adults should strive to follow.
According to the choosemyplate.gov initiative, older adults should strive to eat about 1,800 calories a day, comprised primarily of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy.
- Fruits and Vegetables – Seniors should eat about 2.5 cups of vegetables a day from varied sources; for example, leafy greens, brightly colored peppers, and fiber-filled peas and beans. One-and-a-half cups of fruits each day should also be varied. Think of the rainbow when grocery shopping for your older family members for maximum nutrition.
- Whole Grains – Seniors should get about six ounces of grains per day, half of which should be whole grains. For reference, one ounce is about a slice of bread or a half cup of cooked grains. Encourage him or her to switch white bread, pasta, and rice for whole grain versions.
- Proteins – Good protein choices include white meat chicken, fish and seafood, and beans and nuts. Seniors should get about 5 ounces of protein per day, avoiding fatty foods and red meat. Meats should be baked or grilled rather than fried.
- Dairy – Three cups of dairy each day is key for healthy bones for seniors and older adults. Encourage your loved one to choose low fat varieties of milk, cheese, and yogurt.
Helping your elderly family member follow these guidelines will provide a good nutritional foundation for their senior years. Also, be sure to talk with your loved one’s doctor if he or she has specific nutritional concerns, such as obesity or chronic illness.
For best results, strive to plan easy meals that he or she can prepare independently if needed or consider hiring a home caregiver to help if cooking has become a difficult chore to manage alone. A trained caregiver can not only help with grocery shopping and nutritious meal preparation, but household chores, medication reminders and more. Click here for more information about part-time hourly care in South Metro Denver.
To request free information or a complimentary in-home consultation to learn more about senior home care, contact Home Care Assistance of Centennial, CO. Our Care Managers are available 24/7 and can help answer any questions you may have. Call 303-957-3100 today.