Elder Care: Have you ever talked to your parents’ doctors about their nutritional needs?
You should. A large number of older adults don’t get enough fiber and protein. They also lack the right amount of calcium, vitamin B12, and vitamin D. This impacts overall health as B vitamins are essential for energy, nerve health, and cognitive function. Calcium and vitamin D are important for bone health. Elder care services providers can be a great help in helping your senior eat properly.
It’s vital to make sure they’re eating the right foods by ensuring your parents get enough of the nutrients they need. Some popular diets can help with this. These are the diets doctors often recommend.
MIND, DASH, and Mediterranean Diets
The three commonly recommended diets are MIND, DASH, and the Mediterranean. All three prioritize vegetables as the most crucial component of the diet. Whole grains are next. Lean proteins, especially fish and seafood, are also priorities.
The Mediterranean diet relies on fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and healthy oils like extra virgin olive oil. Check out a sample daily meal plan:
- Red pepper and spinach egg white omelet for breakfast
- A handful of almonds for a snack
- Pita bread stuffed with hummus and baby spinach for lunch
- Two ounces of low-fat Greek yogurt and with blueberries for a snack
- Poached salmon on a barley pilaf with roasted broccoli for dinner
The MIND diet focuses on foods that aid brain health, such as blueberries and fatty fish. A sample menu is:
- Blueberry and almond overnight oats for breakfast
- Fresh strawberries for a snack
- Whole-grain ziti tossed with lemon juice, olive oil, tuna, and fresh basil for lunch
- Pistachios for a snack
- Quinoa and lentil chili for dinner
DASH restricts sodium. All three aim for extra antioxidants from produce, B vitamins from the whole grains, and omega-3 fatty acids from fish. Calcium comes from vegetables and low-fat dairy items like yogurt. But, the DASH diet shouldn’t have added salt. Use fresh herbs and spices instead.
- Poached egg on a half whole-grain English muffin with wilted spinach for breakfast
- A pear for a snack
- Half a baked red pepper stuffed with quinoa, cumin, and ground turkey for lunch
- Yogurt topped with fresh berries, cinnamon, and almonds for a snack
- Steamed farro topped with lemon and garlic grilled swordfish and roasted Brussels sprouts for dinner
Elder Care: Would It Help to Have Someone Else Cooking for Them?
Help your parents eat the right foods by arranging personal care at home services like grocery shopping assistance and meal preparation. They don’t have to struggle with meals and nutrition when professional caregivers assist them.
With caregivers helping them choose items in the store and cooking meals for them, your parents enjoy nutritious meals that don’t overlook essential nutrients. Call an agency to learn more about personal care at home.