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Nutrition for the elderly (part 3 of 4). Planning meals for elderly persons including dinner and free recipes
February 23, 2017

Planning breakfast and lunch for elderly persons

Planning Breakfast and lunch for elderly persons doesn’t have to be difficult.  Fortunately, not all elderly people are without teeth or suffering eating difficulties. However, many of them require their food to be a little softer than they previously did. Whether they are being cared for by family members, or in care homes, this will require some planning and thought. Otherwise it can make life difficult and they can go off their food.

Nutritional needs don’t change much as a person gets older. However, older people should reduce their intake of salts. Also, they should eat less food with saturated fats and sugar. Furthermore, reducing their caloric intake is necessary because most elderly people do not engage in as much activity, particularly due to retirement as well as some health issues. However it is essential to ensure that they get adequate calcium, vitamin B-12, vitamin D and fibre, amongst other things.

Ageing can bring on an increased risk of heart disease, falls and chronic illness. The correct diet, as well as exercise and enjoyable pursuits can reduce the odds of developing these problems. Avoiding excess loss of weight as well as becoming overweight can be managed very successfully through careful meal planning.

Creating a Menu

Creating a weekly menu frees the elderly person’s carer from the problem of what to prepare for them each day. In turn, this makes shopping easier, more economical and helps ensure they get proper nutrition.

Breakfast

This has been called the most important meal of the day.  The reason for this is to kick-start the person’s metabolism and produce energy.  This will provide the elderly person with the necessary fuel to engage with life and do activities instead of sitting around watching television. It follows that healthy food choices would include eggs, lean chopped ham, the occasional lean sausage and bubble and squeak or other fat-free potato cakes.  Interestingly, in Brittany which is in North Western France, some people love to start the day with a bowl of vegetable soup and coffee. They swear by this for people who live in cold climates.

Other favourites might include oatmeal, cereal with fat-free milk or milk substitutes and yogurt. Also on the list would be toast if they can chew it, reduced sugar or sugar-free fruit spreads, smooth peanut butter, banana bread or muffins.  However, you might like to avoid the use of nuts or large pieces of fruit. Finally, orange juice, fruit or fruit smoothies, with the addition of milk or yogurt and a nice cup of tea or coffee would ensure they never got bored with breakfast.

Lunch

Oh, the joy of having the time to enjoy a leisurely lunch instead of watching the clock so as not to make the boss angry by getting back late! That is definitely one of the advantages of retirement and one that should be celebrated. On a normal weekday, people would eat such foods as soup, sandwiches, pies, fish and chips, salad, baked potatoes or pasta for instance. But have you thought of switching dinner foods for lunchtime for your elderly relative? This would make digestion much easier. 

Apparently our digestion slows down over the years. In fact digestion takes 2 hours for a young person but 4 hours for a middle-aged person. Worse still, digesting food takes about 6 hours for the elderly. No wonder some elderly people need to eat dinner at 5 pm or face having indigestion followed by difficulty sleeping at night. Therefore, roasted meats, meatloaf, chicken casseroles, white or oily fish, turkey breast etc. would make lovely lunches. Served with salad or vegetables, mashed potatoes, gravy, soft, short pasta or moist rice their meals would resemble normal meals. Light, easily chewed and digested deserts would seem a fitting end and a pleasure.

In Part Three of this article we continue with Dinner suggestions for an Elderly Person and the importance of that meal.  We will also talk about snacks and especially hydration.

Conclusion

In Part 3 of this 5 part article we continue with dinner suggestions for an elderly person. Plus, we’ll discuss the importance of that meal. Also, we’ll talk about snacks and especially hydration.

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Next up! Planning meals for elderly persons including dinner and free recipes

…or click here to go to back to part 1 of the article.


If you need more specific support for your loved one please contact Camberwell Gardens Aged Care on 1800 GOLDAGE (1800 465 324)  or email us at camberwellreception@goldage.com.au. You can also visit us at 15/15 Cornell St, Camberwell Victoria 3124.

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