Malnutrition is a concern in senior citizens. Your dad may not enjoy cooking. He may find it hard to stand still for more than a few minutes. When that happens, he’s less likely to take the time to cook a meal.
Takeout Chinese or pizza, packaged meals, and delivery are not always nutritious solutions. Make sure you know what he needs to eat each day and look at his current diet to see where he’s missing out.
Focus Heavily on Fish, Vegetables, and Whole Grains.
The heart of a senior citizen’s diet should focus on lean proteins like fish, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Other foods can be added, but those should be a primary concern. Your dad needs the vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and fiber found in those foods.
Recommendations are to make sure that fruits and vegetables cover half a plate. The remaining half should be split evenly between the whole grains and lean protein.
Don’t Overlook Calcium.
Calcium and vitamin D are necessary when it comes to bone health. Low-fat or skim yogurt, cottage cheese, and milk are all good options. Some breakfast cereals and fruit juices have calcium added, too.
If you’re concerned that your dad is not getting enough calcium, talk to his doctor. Calcium or vitamin D supplements may be recommended. There are also tests to check bone density. He should have this test done to detect osteoporosis.
Increase Fiber Intake.
Fiber is beneficial for many reasons. It’s a good way to keep the bowels and intestines working properly. Fiber promotes the growth and lifespan of beneficial gut bacteria. Dietary fiber helps lower the risk of certain cancers.
Some foods that are high in fiber also help lower the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease. Your dad needs whole grains like barley, brown rice, cracked wheat, farro, and quinoa. He can also get fiber from dried beans and lentils.
How Many Calories Should He Aim For?
Your dad’s activity level dictates his caloric intake. If he isn’t very active, he should stick to 2,000 calories. If he’s moderately or very active, he should aim for 2,200 to 2,400 or 2,400 to 2,800 calories, respectively.
How do you get your dad to eat healthier meals? Meal preparation services are a start. Your dad may want to have a companion to talk to during meals. Caregivers offer this senior care service.
Housework, laundry, and personal care are other areas where your dad may struggle with each day. Take the important step and contact a senior care agency now.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Modesto, CA, contact the caring staff at Provident Home Care. Call today (877) 572-3411.
Robin Conley RN., Owner and CEO of Provident Care Home Care Providing HOME CARE- ASSISTED LIVING PLACEMENT ASSISTANCE
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